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Si Hei Lwli / Twilight Song (Trosiadau/Translations) Paperback – 1 Apr 2004

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gomer Press; Bilingual edition edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843233673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843233671
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,693,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Angharad Tomos lives in Penygroes, Gwynedd. She is a prominent political activist, Welsh language campaigner, and a well-known Welsh-language author. She won the Prose Medal at the National Eisteddfod in 1991 for Si Hei Lwli, and again in 1997 for Wele’n Gwawrio. She is also responsible for the popular children’s series, Cyfres Rwdlan. Elin ap Hywel is a celebrated poet, an experienced editor and translator. She hails from Wrexham, but currently lives in Aberystwyth.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The needle's passing sixty…seventy…seventy-five…eighty…The world is rushing past at eighty-five miles an hour. The sun is hot, it's summer, and we're both out to enjoy ourselves. By my side, I feel the warmth of Bigw's body, her chestnut hair flowing in waves over her shoulders, her body, young like mine, on fire for excitement, for surprise, for the thrill of the unexpected.The sheer freedom of speed – there's nothing like it. I believe people are born twice. Once when they slip from their mother's womb, the second when they pass their driving test. Ordinary, everyday experiences happen at an ordinary speed. The most extreme experiences come at you at extreme speed. Wheee! This is the life! The music filling my ears, it all reaches a fantastic crescendo as the road opens out in front of me. I'm free…

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Format: Paperback
In a Foreword, the author describes the background to this novel which is based on a relative who died in 1990. The Prose Medal competition at the 1991 National Eisteddfod offered the opportunity to pay homage to Bigw. Elin ap Hywel translated "Si Hei Lwli", into English and the novella was published in 2004 under the title "Twilight Song", with support from the Welsh Book Council.

Lisi, a ninety-year old now living out her final years in a Retirement Home, was given the nickname "pigog", meaning "spikey", by her nieces when they were children; one of these children was the mother of Eleni who narrates this novella together with Bigw.

Eleni, feeling rather guilty that she does not do more for her elderly relative, invites her out for a drive. Given the condition of her car, this might not have been the most sensible option. The journey offers a spine running through the book with both characters looking back on their lives, revealing tensions and frustrations. At the end, following Bigw's death and funeral, Eleni realises just how strong and determined Bigw was, and how Eleni herself will be able to capitalise on this knowledge in her own life.

The book deals very well with the difficulties of independence and growing old without a trace of sentimentality. Bigw looked after her father for a long time after her mother's death. After his death she lived on her own until illness and infirmity meant that she had to leave her home and live with Eleni and her parents. In due course she had to move again, into the retirement home which, unsurprisingly, she hates.

The backstories include that of Ellis, the one man in Bigw's life who might have offered her fulfilling companionship and her own family.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading this as part of my efforts to improve on my very basic Welsh (the text is in both Welsh and English ). It did much more than that. I found myself absorbed in the essence of this simple but powerful tale of what it means to be old;and what it means to be of a younger generation trying to understand a different world. The ordinariness of its setting brings the sadness of its message down to earth, and we are left with a very real and unsentimental picture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the finest novels dealing with aging. A 'must' read for anyone interest in the elderly and understanding the aging process.
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