On the Red Hill: Where Four Lives Fell Into Place (Paperback)Mike Parker (author)
- 5+ in stock
A mesmerising entwining of queer love story, group biography, reflection on time and place and celebration of rural Wales, On the Red Hill is so much more than the sum of its disparate, engaging parts. Tracing the lives and relationships of a quartet of friends from a ground-breaking civil partnership to the abandonment of an idyllic home nestled in the Welsh hills, Parker’s lyrical volume is a hymn to community, tradition and the life-affirming joy that comes from discovering love in the most unlikely of places.
Waterstones Welsh Book of the Month for March 2020
Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2020
A multi-layered memoir of love, acceptance, finding home and the redemptive power of nature.
In 2006, Mike Parker and his partner Peredur were witnesses at the civil partnership of their friends Reg and George, the first in the small Welsh town of Machynlleth. Years later, when Reg and George died within a few weeks of each other, Mike and Peredur discovered that they had been left their home: a whitewashed 'house from the children's stories', buried deep within the hills.
On the Red Hill is the story of Rhiw Goch, 'the Red Hill', and its inhabitants, but also the story of a remarkable rural community and a legacy that extends far beyond bricks and mortar. It is a story that celebrates the turn of the year's wheel, of ever-changing landscapes, and of the family found in the unlikeliest of places.
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 330 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm
'A marvellous book. It is an uplifting tale of tranquillity sought and found in the nearest Britain gets to paradise.' - Simon Jenkins
'Intense, fascinating account of queer lives in rural Wales over almost five decades ... holds a mirror up to the often hidden gay lives of the past century ... The result, in prose as swooping as the birds that teem about the house, is an important study of everyday gay life before and after decriminalisation. It is also (for Parker is nothing if not ambitious) an intimate account of the stunning natural beauty of this part of Wales, and its proud history ... By turns euphoric and melancholy, he matches his emotions to the seasons ... It is through this unusual book, a lovely hybrid of memoir, panegyric and queer history, that Parker too ... seems at last to find his own noddfa - sanctuary - and with it a sense of belonging'. - The Daily Telegraph
'Structurally innovative, linguistically precise, and emotionally enervating, On the Red Hill is a praise-poem to adventure, belonging, the power of nature and, above all, to the resilience of human beings and the love between them. Parker's great strength and passion is in illuminating certain hidden strata of these islands, in the unearthing and re-telling of stories silenced by the forces of political history; here, he applies those talents to his own biography, and to some of those blessed enough to share it. He has produced a beautiful, immersive and - in these testing times - vital and necessary book.' - Niall Griffiths
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