“And: a memoir of my mother”

Congratulations to mixed race author Isabel Adonis, winner of a Wales Book of the Year Award 2023!

Isabel Adonis was born in London in 1951, to Welshwoman Catherine Alice Hughes, and renowned Guyanese artist Denis Williams, whose work has been exhibited in the Tate Gallery.

Growing up in London, Sudan and Wales, with a cold and distant father and an isolated mother, Adonis explores the nature of identity, culture and desire as shaped by her childhood impressions of her parents.

Simultaneously personal and universal, and told in the rhythms of an oral story, this beautifully musical and multi-layered book examines the divisiveness of colour, alienation, the impact of colonialism on social culture, and what it means to be ‘mixed’.

An essential read that portrays an important aspect of the culturally diverse social fabric of Wales and the wider world.


  1. Nation.Cymru: “…an extraordinary narrative, a swirling and circling story of language and heroism.”
  2. The Cardiff Review: “Stylistically, Adonis’ prose calls to mind the kind of oral storytelling found in the Bible, or Homer.”
  3. The Western Mail: “…an intense, hypnotic read. Adonis’ writing is keenly observant, and sometimes incantatory in its rhythm and repetition.
  4. Paul Theroux: “I admire this book – a family entangled in Wales and the West Indies and Africa – a dominant father casting his shadow over the narrative. It is a complex memoir, related in a quiet and incantatory way, for which the word “Faulknerian” is not an exaggeration. It is in many ways a dark tale, but its heart and its humanity gives it great power.”
  5. Jim Perrin: “…the freshest, most exquisitely written, most observant, complex and insightful cultural memoir ever written about growing up in North Wales. I thoroughly recommend it to you.”