Planet 234

Rachel Trezise reviews
Fight and Flight: Essays on Ron Berry
Edited by Georgia Burdett and Sarah Morse

Edited by Georgia Burdett and Sarah Morse

University of Wales Press, £24.99

I wasn’t aware of Ron Berry until his renowned novel So Long Hector Bebb was brought back to print in 2005, a few months after my first collection of short stories were published. But then I realised he’d always loomed large in the landscape of my life. His granddaughter, Bianca, had (in my eyes at least), been the coolest kid in Treorchy Comp, her sixth-form uniform embellished with fourteen-hole Doc Martens, a stud in her nostril. His grandson, Tony, had sat behind me in English Lit for five years while his daughter, Leslie, came to my debut book launch at Treorchy Library to warn me that, just like her father, I’d find it near impossible to make a living simply by writing. It seemed Ron Berry was ubiquitous. However I’d read very little of his oeuvre. (Much like him I tend to avoid as much Welsh literature as I can.) So I hoped these essays would focus as much on his motivations for writing as they did on the work itself.

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