|Love Child by Herbert Williams|
Aberystwyth in the 1960s. A sex scandal involving a college principal. Vigorous Welsh-language protests. Welcome to the world of Herbert Williams’s latest novel.
When Fleet Street reporter Steve Lewis goes to cover a sex scandal involving a university principal and a film star, his world turns upside down. Back in his native Glanaber (a fictionalised Aberystwyth), his past comes back to haunt him in the shape of his former girlfriend Annette, by whom he sired a baby that died in infancy – the ‘love child’ of the title. How will his wife Jocelyn react when his secrets are laid bare? And how can his career survive the decision by his bosses to locate him permanently in this ‘journalistic backwater’? Set against a background of the spirited Welsh language campaigns of the Sixties, this fast-moving novel provides an unforgettable picture of small-town life, with all its intrigues and jealousies.
Aberystwyth born Herbert Williams explains why he wrote the novel, “I wanted to know what had happened to Steve and Annette. They were central figures in an earlier novel The Woman in the Back Row. So the only way to find out was to write this new story about them. Love Child stands as a self-sufficient novel in its own right or as a sequel.”
The youngest of six children, Herbert Willimas went to Ardwyn Grammar School, Aberystwyth but had his education disrupted by the onset of TB – then still a major killer disease in Wales – in his teens. After two years in an old-style sanatorium – ‘windows open day and night, come rain or shine’ he recalls – he joined the Cambrian News as a reporter. He worked for a succession of papers before becoming a BBC radio producer, leaving the staff after seven years to concentrate on his own writing. An established poet since the 1960s, he is an author of unusual range, writing fiction and nonfiction as well as TV and radio plays and documentaries.
Proving that age is no barrier to creativity, Herbert Williams – now in his 70s – has brought out seven books in the last decade, including the prize-winning novella The Marionettes. He is also the subject of a biography by Phil Carradice in the prestigious Writers of Wales series.
A founder member and fellow of the Welsh Academy, Herbert Williams lives in Cardiff with his wife Dorothy.
Love Child is published by Y Lolfa in May, priced £8.95. Herbert will be signing copies of the book in Waterstone’s Aberystwyth on Saturday 25 June, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.