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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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My Father's Places

by Aeronwy Thomas - £8.99  Constable and Robinson (2010)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781849013642 | ISBN 10: 1849013640

The highly acclaimed memoir of growing up with Dylan Thomas In 1949, after years of nomadic existence, nine-year-old Aeronwy Thomas and her family arrived at the Boat House in Laugharne, a small village on the Welsh coast. Here her father, the poet Dylan Thomas and mother, Caitlin, hoped to find peace, a place to settle and work.
 
In Laugharne Dylan began some of his most famous works, including Under Milk Wood. Mornings were spent in Brownís Hotel, listening to the gossip at Ivy Williamís kitchen table. In the afternoons Caitlin would lock the poet into a shed in the garden, where he sat speaking his verse aloud as he wrote, or composed begging letters to patrons and friends. Often he would head off to London, and old haunts.
 
Little Aeronwy enjoyed the new world around her. In the Boat House, ruled over by Caitlin, there was baby Colm and in the holidays visits from big brother Llewellyn, as well as Dolly, the cleaner and cook, and the house became a refuge for village characters, including Booda the deaf, mute ferry man. The memoir paints scenes of sudden drama and poetry: reading Wind in the Willows with her father in the evenings; fish treading in the mud below the house with her mother; afternoons with Grandma Flo and DJ at the Pelican.
 
Dylanís fame grows and he tours the United States to read his poetry. Aeronwy watches as the marriage fractures, and at last the poet dies in New York, far away from his children. My Fatherís Places is a deeply moving portrait of growing up and an insight into the origins and the legacy of Dylan Thomasís poetry.

(Price & availability last checked: December 2018)

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In booklists: Women in Wales, Childhood Memoirs,
In categories: Feminism & Women, Ireland, Scotland & Wales, History & Biography, Children & Young People,

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