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Humphreys, Emyr

(British, 1919– )

Humphreys is a Welsh Nationalist, poet, and dramatist. His many novels are realistic, concerning moral questions, the nature of love, freedom, and conscience in post-Nonconformist Wales. Start with A Toy Epic (1958), following the development of three youths from contrasting social backgrounds in 1930s’ Wales. Seven novels centre on Amy Parry, beginning near her death when she is a titled lady, in National Winner (1971), then moving back to her poor beginnings as a working-class socialist. Then read Open Secrets (1988): during the Second World War Amy's husband Cilydd is a pacifist, while she pursues politics; her first child is not Cilydd's. Don't miss Bonds of Attachment (1991): Peredur, Amy's son by Cilydd, searching for the truth about his father's suicide, has an affair with Wenna, who is blown up in an Investiture protest. The Anchortree (1980) explores the importance of roots as Morgan seeks his Pennsylvanian ancestry.

Jack Jones, James Hanley  GC

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ha-Ke)