On the Black Hill: A Novel

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9780140068962: On the Black Hill: A Novel

Lewis and Benjamin Jones, identical twins, were born with the century on a farm on the English-Welsh border. For eighty years they live on the farm—sharing the same clothes, tilling the same soil, sleeping in the same bed. Their lives and the lives of their neighbors—farmers, drovers, clergymen, traders, coffin-makers—are only obliquely touched by the chaos of twentieth-century progress.

Nonetheless, the twins’ world—a few square miles of Welsh countryside—is rich in the oddities, the wonders, and the tragedies of the human experience. In this extraordinary novel Bruce Chatwin has captured every nuance of the Welsh landscape and of the lives and souls of the people who lived there.

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Review:

Bruce Chatwin's fascination with nomads and wanderlust represents itself in reverse in On the Black Hill, a tale of two brothers (identical twins) who never go anywhere. They stay in the farmhouse on the English-Welsh border where they were born, tilling the rough soil and sleeping in the same bed, touched only occasionally by the advance of the 20th century. Smacking of a Welsh Ethan Frome, Chatwin evokes the lonely tragedies of farm life, and above all the vibrant land of Wales.

About the Author:

Bruce Chatwin (1940–1989) was the author of In Patagonia, The Viceroy of Ouidah, On the Black Hill, The Songlines, and Utz. His other books are What Am I Doing Here and Anatomy of Restlessness, posthumous anthologies of shorter works, and Far Journeys, a collection of his photographs that also includes selections from his travel notebooks.

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