The Long Dry
A novel by Cynan Jones
April 4, 2017 • 5 x 7.75 • 136 Pages • 978-1-56689-465-4
The animal facts of human life—need, love, children, exhaustion, incapacity, death—come alive in one farmer’s long, hot day.
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.
About the Author
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.
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“Even when nothing is happening in Jones’s fiction, a lot is happening, and the natural settings are bountifully alive.” —Publishers Weekly
“In this short novel, Jones’s spare prose conveys brutal realities alongside fleeting beauty, building in emotional power towards a heart-shaking climax.” —The Guardian
“[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
“The Long Dry, like all of Jones’ work, has a resonance and a potency far beyond its size and telling. The author is a master at using the particulars of everyday life to illuminate what is universal about it.” —Lively Arts
“The Long Dry . . . proves that Jones has long been consistent (and consistently good) in his stylistic and thematic wheelhouse. This novel . . . leaves little question as to why Jones has been called ‘one of the most distinctive new voices in British fiction.’” —Rain Taxi
“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
“This is a beautiful little novel that leaves the reader reeling with the powerful emotions it manages to render in such a short space and with such sparse language.” —Cleaver
“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