Reviews

  • "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
  • "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
  • "On the Red Hill is a beautifully crafted journey into the most intimate space the author can possibly share- his home. The story of Rhiw Goch and its inhabitants is an intricately woven celebration and acknowledgment of life in modern rural Wales, always gripping, often romantic but never sentimental. This is the story of four men, two couples, one house, and the benevolent presence of Rhiw Goch is the protagonist in this story. The seasons colour the pages in vivid greens and deep russets, and the closeness to nature is raw and honest. The footpaths, streams and trees that surround the house are ever-present, even when Mike Parker is covering topics as diverse as the Second World War, trends in photography, and the gay history of Wales. There is a flow to this book which is in turn fascinating, funny, moving and touching. Mike Parker has long established himself as the master of capturing Wales, having managed time and time again to map the contours and cultures of the country with his words. With On the Red Hill, he surpasses himself. This is the truest version of modern Welsh life I have ever read."

    Manon Steffan Ros