Outside the House of Baal

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Seren, 1996 - Fiction - 411 pages
1963. Over the course of a single morning, J.T. Miles looks back over seventy years of his lifetime. It has been a period of huge change everywhere, but especially in Wales. His country has changed from a rural, religious, Welsh-speaking society where heaven is achieved through living a "good life," to a place like so many others, where technology is making "heaven on earth" possible.

A preacher, J.T. has tried to live a good life. He opposed the Great War and spoke out against much wrongdoing, as his Christian duty, when perhaps he should have shown more understanding. His confusion and sense of failure is compounded by the presence of his sister-in-law Kate, who shares his house and who at one time he might have married. Instead he had chosen Lydia, free-spirited and strong-willed. J.T. and Kate; the events of one morning confront those of two lives which are themselves confronting each other for the first time.

In this classic novel, flashes of revelation illuminate their stories, which connect small events with the drama of a wider history. Emyr Humphreys explores the splendours and miseries of Welsh experience, but what consolations are there for J.T. and Kate?

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About the author (1996)

Emyr Humphreys is one of the foremost Welsh novelists writing in English. He is the author of over twenty novels, of short story volumes, verse and non-fiction work, and was described by the poet R.S. Thomas as "the supreme interpreter of Welsh life." His most recent work is The Woman at the Window (Seren, 2009).

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