Book of the Month – April 2023

Sarn Helen edited by Tom Bullough

Sarn Helen – Helen’s Causeway – is the old Roman Road that runs from the south of Wales to the north. As Tom walks the route, sometimes alone, sometimes in company, he describes the changing landscape around him and explores the political, cultural and mythical history of this country that has been so divided, by language and by geography. 

Running alongside this journey is the story of Tom’s engagement with the issue of the climate crisis and its likely impact on the Welsh coastline. From one of Wales’ most celebrated writers, Sarn Helen is at once a vivid and immersive portrait of a nation, and a resonant meditation upon the way in which we are shaped by place and in turn shape the places – potentially irrevocably.

Read it? Let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #HBOTM.

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Further reading

Novelist Tom Bullough on his XR arrest – and what Welsh saints can teach us about the climate crisisThe Guardian 
Elegy for a wonderful, dying landProspect 

About the editor

Tom Bullough grew up on a hill farm in Radnorshire, Wales, and lives in the Brecon Beacons with his children. He is the author of four novels – A, The Claude Glass, Konstantin, and Addlands – and, now, Sarn Helen, his first work of non-fiction. Tom is a climate activist and a freelance tutor in creative writing, and runs regular courses on climate and writing for Black Mountains College and the Arvon Foundation.

About Hay Festival's Book of the Month

Hay Festival's Book of the Month is our monthly recommendation of a book we love and think holds particular resonance. This is our chance to celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry year-round.

Throughout the month, we'll share interesting links and articles relating to our selection on social media using #HBOTM and invite you all to get involved with your questions and comments.

If you'd like to recommend a book for consideration, please share on social media using #HBOTM.

Happy reading!