With a foreword by Rachel Trezise
When I first read Home to an Empty House in autumn 2005, I was living with my fiancé in a basement flat beneath his parents’ house, impatiently awaiting the renovation of our own home. It was a box; one kitchen/lounge, a hotel bathroom with a mini-tub, the plug pulled free of its chain, and a bedroom below the family kitchen. Each morning I was woken by the ceiling creaking; my soon-to-be mother-in-law pounding across it in her relentless quest to prepare a nutritional breakfast and delicately wash everyone’s clothes, and make real tea with a real teapot; a matronal domestic goddess.
Home To An Empty House tells in Alun Richards’ incisive style the story of a marriage that has long since lost its sparkle. Walter, the wisecracking paranoiac and Connie, teacher of the ‘backward class’, are a couple who know a lot about sex but little about each other.
The industrial revolution is over and the South Wales valleys are slowly but surely losing their identity. Walter is forced through illness to reflect on his flaws while Connie attempts to sate her wanderlust.
“…a crackling and sizzling read, with all the verbal liveliness, the thrusting polemical athleticism of the highly articulate South Wales mind at its best … a novel, above all, full of life … of character and vitality.”
The Sunday Times
“His people are real, rounded and running over with life …”
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Alun Morgan Richards was born in Pontypridd in 1929. He wrote six novels from 1962 to 1979 and two scintillating collections of short stories, Dai Country (1973) and The Former Miss Merthyr Tydfil (1976) .Plays for stage and radio were complemented by original screenplays and adaptations for television, including BBC’s Onedin Line. As an editor, he produced best-selling editions of Welsh short stories and tales of the sea for Penguin. His sensitive biography of his close friend, Carwyn James, appeared in 1984 and his own entrancing memoir Days of Absence in 1986. Alun Richards died in 2004.