Jon Gower Continues his Library of Wales Reading Challenge with 'Rhapsody'


In a recent Guardian interview the British novelist Rupert Thomson suggested that:
'Fiction essentially teaches you to understand and empathise with other people. That’s important. I think fiction is related to ethics in that you step out of your skin and become someone else for the period you are reading the book. And it is a short step to extrapolate from that to the teaching of compassion.'
I took these thoughts with me into a reading of the artful, economical short stories marshalled into Dorothy Edwards’s Rhapsody, first published in 1927. These terse and ironic tales seem to teach us very little about compassion, or much about human warmth and connectedness for that matter.
The ten stories that make up Rhapsody – with an additional three bonus tales in this LOW edition – do not make for empathetic fiction, yet they are undoubtedly fine works, taut and elegantly wrought narratives with never a single word wasted.  They are always, unutterably refined, yes, that’s the word, very refined.
Author, Broadcaster and Raconteur Jon Gower has undertaken the challenge to read all the titles in the current Library of Wales series, and review them. Are you joining in too? Do let us know.
Buy: Rhapsody from the Parthian online bookshop for £7.99. This title is also available on ebook from all good online retailers.

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