The Dig is a searing novel. Built of the interlocking fates of a badger-baiter and a farmer struggling through lambing season, the story unfolds in a stark rural setting where man, animal, and land are at loggerheads. Jones writes of isolation and loss with resonant carefulness, and about the simple rawness of animal existence with an unblinking eye. There is no bucolic pastoral here. This is pure, pared-down rural realism, crackling with compressed energy, from a writer of uncommon gifts.
CYNAN JONES was born near Aberaeron, Wales in 1975. He is the author of three novels,The Long Dry(winner of a Betty Trask Award, 2007),Everything I Found on the Beach(2011), andThe Dig(2014), a chapter of which was shortlisted for the 2013 Sunday Times/ EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. He is also the author ofBird, Blood, Snow(2012), the retelling of a medieval Welsh myth.