A multi-layered memoir of love, acceptance, finding home and the redemptive power of nature.
Mike Parker is a writer and broadcaster. His books to date include Map Addict and the Rough Guide to Wales. He writes for publications including the Guardian and the Sunday Times, and presents on radio and television.
On the Red Hill is an extraordinary book: brave and
ground-breaking. It is far more than a queer and Welsh Howards
End. Gossipy, inquisitive, confessional, lyrical, elegiac and
camp-ly witty by turns, Parker offers us an unexpected and
important meditation on change and on belonging, presenting four
different gay lives associated with a single house. He shows us
what it is that makes these lives matter. -- Peter J. Conradi
A marvellous book. It is an uplifting tale of tranquillity sought and found in the nearest Britain gets to paradise. -- Simon Jenkins
Intense, fascinating account of queer lives in rural Wales over almost five decades ... holds a mirror up to the often hidden gay lives of the past century ... The result, in prose as swooping as the birds that teem about the house, is an important study of everyday gay life before and after decriminalisation. It is also (for Parker is nothing if not ambitious) an intimate account of the stunning natural beauty of this part of Wales, and its proud history ... By turns euphoric and melancholy, he matches his emotions to the seasons ... It is through this unusual book, a lovely hybrid of memoir, panegyric and queer history, that Parker too ... seems at last to find his own noddfa - sanctuary - and with it a sense of belonging. * Daily Telegraph *
Structurally innovative, linguistically precise, and emotionally enervating, On the Red Hill is a praise-poem to adventure, belonging, the power of nature and, above all, to the resilience of human beings and the love between them. Parker's great strength and passion is in illuminating certain hidden strata of these islands, in the unearthing and re-telling of stories silenced by the forces of political history; here, he applies those talents to his own biography, and to some of those blessed enough to share it. He has produced a beautiful, immersive and - in these testing times - vital and necessary book. -- Niall Griffiths
Ostensibly set in one house in rural Wales, there are worlds on worlds within this lyrical and profoundly cultured book. In an age of toxic artifice, this is the most necessary medicine: the tenderness of reality and the living, elemental, world. -- Jay Griffiths