Dafydd wins £5,000 literary prize for book set
at The National Library of Wales
- The National Library of Wales, Wednesday, 05 August
Yesterday in The National Eisteddfod in Bala, the Daniel
Owen Memorial Prize for literature was awarded to Fflur
Dafydd. The £5,000 literary prize was awarded
to Dafydd for her latest book entitled Y Llyfrgell (The
Library), a fantasy novel set in The National Library
adjudicators said the novel Y Llyfrgell (The Library)
was a challenging piece of work that would upset many
readers and would stimulate debate about the future
of our national heritage.
the novel Dafydd portrays a world where women are in
government, politicians have an undue influence on the
arts and new technology overshadows the book –
and the author. Dafydd said she was inspired to write
her novel while visiting the National Library at Aberystwyth
every day for three months as she completed her doctorate
on R S Thomas in 2004.
found myself imagining all sorts of different scenarios
that could happen in the library rather than concentrating
on my work,” she said.
I didn’t have time to write it until last year
and it took me about six months."
is something thrilling about the grandeur of the buildings,
the red carpet, the white pillars and the concept of
all the secrets and history of the nation being collected
in one place.”
judges of the competition were unanimous in their decision,
which was announced at the National Eisteddfod of Wales
yesterday. John Rowlands, Geraint Vaughan Jones and
Rhiannon Lloyd described her work as "brimful of
humour, unforgettable characters, and an excellent narrative"
adding that they enjoyed the book’s satire and
black humour and the way it lampoons academics, civil
servants, politicians and janitors and throws them remorselessly
into a sinister and bizarre crisis.
in the National Library in 2020, the story follows a
group of characters during one dramatic day when two
armed, female librarians take the readers hostage in
the reading room.
to Andrew Green, 'We think Fflur's book is almost certainly
the first novel, out of the six million books we have
on our shelves, that's set entirely within the National
Library of Wales. We're delighted that one of our most
distinguished readers has won the Daniel Owen Memorial
Prize for 'Y Llyfrgell' - though we're confident the
real National Library isn't quite as bizarre and sinister
as the one in the novel.'
is the second Eisteddfod prize for Dafydd, who won the
National Eisteddfod Prose Medal in 2006.