CREATIVE Cynan Jones

NWR Issue 114


He struck the limpet with the bronze socket of the knife, a crisp sudden movement, his free hand following the shell automatically as it loosed away from the rock. He collected it, upturned, its shocked muscular foot, and dropped it into the bag. Then he hit the next shell the same way. It seemed impossible it could echo in the great space of the bay, but it did. Each sudden sharp tap.

Across the shore, others were coming out. They came over the silt along the wooden trackway then dispersed, individually and as groups, as if to a part of a beach that was theirs.

When another man came by him, going out further onto the uncovered rocks, an inarticulate greeting passed between them.

The fluting of oystercatchers. e mustard sand. Warm sun. The ticking sound of dislodged shells coming now from other points. In his hand, the strange curved knife. He found a comfortable rhythm.

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Cynan JonesThe Long Dry was shortlisted this spring for the 2017 New Welsh Readers’ Poll for best novella in English. His latest short novel, Cove, was published by Granta last autumn. His previous book, The Dig (Granta, 2014), won the Wales Book of the Year Fiction Prize 2015 and a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Award 2014. It was shortlisted and longlisted for other prizes, in the UK and abroad, and a chapter was shortlisted for the 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. His earlier novels, The Long Dry and Everything I Found on the Beach were originally published by Parthian in 2006 and 2011 respectively, before Granta brought out new editions in 2014. Cynan also wrote Bird, Blood, Snow (2012), one in Seren’s New Stories from the Mabinogion series. The author lives on the west Wales coast, near Aberaeron.


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