Hill farmer launches new novel at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show

Welsh Books Council

Hill farmer launches new novel at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show - 18 July 2016

Post Brexit the political turmoil continues to cast shadows and uncertainty across Wales. None more so than in our farming and rural communities previously supported by subsidies, grants and loans via the EU’s Rural Development Programme.

Hill farmer Tia Jones's new novel which launches at the Royal Welsh Show on the FUW stand on Thursday, 21 July at 12pm, vividly depicts how the agricultural industry is inextricably linked to, and affected by, global and political developments beyond their control.

The Curlew's Cry  is Tia's third novel in a trilogy centred around Tŷ Coch, a mid-Wales farm, where three generations of domestic drama is played out in a world of economic, and environmental turmoil. The farming community faces constant threats to their livelihood and the timely novel, set against a backdrop of war in the Middle-East, highlights how the impact of globalisation and the effects of climate change affects rural life on a hill farm.

Bethan and her daughter are clinging on to the life they know in Llanfeni, surviving on the margins.  At Tŷ Coch farm, Bethan's family home, the enduring and constant struggle  has become the way of life. The author doesn't shy away from contentious issues that often divide rural communities such as Richard and Penny’s fight against the foot-and-mouth outbreak, which has left the neighbours wondering whether wind farming, not livestock, is the way ahead.

Passionate about sustainable farming, Tia Jones is a strong advocate of small, family-run businesses and the need for the hill farming community and its contribution to have greater visibility beyond the rural locale.

"The small farming unit is more important than ever, working in the margins as a way of life, not just enduring but prevailing against the odds, to help offset the imbalance. That also by default enables and secures the wild life a habitat and food source against the ever increasing larger indoor factory farming methods of the modern world."

In a political climate of uncertainty and change, farming families such as the residents of Tŷ Coch continue their forebears traditions of caring for their livestock and cultivating the land. The political divide between neighbours may run deep, the tensions highlighted by the choices facing the agricultural industry highlight more than ever the deep need for Hill farmers to work together to sustain and protect this industry and its heritage in Wales.

' The Curlew's Cry  is contemporary fiction at its best: deeply rooted in its place and yet engaging with the global events that affect us all.'  Katie Gramich.

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