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The Long Dry

A novel by Cynan Jones

The animal facts of human life—need, love, children, exhaustion, incapacity, death—come alive in one farmer’s long, hot day.

April 4, 2017
5 x 7.75 | 136 Pages
Trade Paper

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at

ISBN: 978-1-56689-465-4.



On a long, hot day, Gareth searches for a missing pregnant cow. A dog must be put down, there are ducks to go in the pond, there are children, and there is Kate, his wife, who may be an uncrossable distance from him. Jones’s rural Wales is alive with the necessities of our own animal instincts and most human longing.

Cynan Jones was born near Aberaeron on the west coast of Wales in 1975. He is the author of five short novels, The Long Dry; Everything I Found on the Beach; Bird, Blood, Snow; The Dig; and Cove. His work has been translated into several languages, and his short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and publications, including Granta.


“Even when nothing is happening in Jones’s fiction, a lot is happening, and the natural settings are bountifully alive.”—Publishers Weekly

“[The Long Dry] seethes with the brutal squelch of farming, breeding, bleeding, death, and soars with moments of shuddering human frailty and grace.”—Boston Globe

“Jones’ books are fistfuls of raw earth… [The Long Dry] has a poetic, elemental feel that’s enlivening even when the mood is at its lowest ebb.” Star Tribune

“Jones’s lines propel us, enthrall us, and break our hearts.”—Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“Not since I first encountered Faulkner has a writer so impressed me with his rural wisdom. Set in the Welsh countryside, The Long Dry is at once profound and plainspoken, feral and fierce, tender and true. This book is a revelation, and Cynan Jones is a prophet of the wonderfully strange.”—Peter Geye

“The light in this dark tale . . . comes via its language. Jones writes about this mucky, perilous landscape with a simplicity and passion that evoke Seamus Heaney’s poetry.”Kirkus 

“Have you ever wanted to live in the country? Warning: this book is not about life in the country. It’s about life. And death. It will make you cry, both because of the things that happen in it and because of the astoundingly unassuming language in which it is written. Read this book.”—Annie Bishai, Harvard Book Store