The Writers of Wales Database



Jim PerrinProse–writer. Born in Manchester to a Denbighshire family in 1947, and at one time one of the leading rock-climbers in Britain, Jim has lived in Wales since 1964. Awards for his writing include the Boardman Tasker Prize (1985 and 2005), Wales in Print Award (2002), the Mountain History Award at Banff Mountain Festival (2005) and the Mountaineering Literature Award at Banff in 2006. He writes travel essays for the Daily Telegraph, monthly columns in Climber and TGO magazines, and is The Guardian’s Country Diarist for Wales. The Climbing Essays (Inn Pinn, 2006), was on the Wales Book of the Year 2007 Short List. Jim is a Fellow of Academi.


With respect to The Villain (Hutchinson 2005)

“…These stories are described with the drollness, skill and attention to detail we expect from Perrin, who shines through his own text – acute, sly, human, affable – as concerned as ever that we view climbing as the morally complex metonym of our humanity. …Exhaustively researched and beautifully written…”
M. John Harrison, The Guardian

With respect to Travels with The Flea (Inn Pinn, 2002)

“…the pre-eminent writer on the British landscape…”
Peter Beaumont, The Observer

“…Jim Perrin is an alchemist. He takes the base metal of his own experience and, in retorts fuelled by the power of his observation and skill with language, transmutes it into prose that coruscates with spirit and meaning…”
Jamie Jauncey, The Scotsman

With respect to Spirits of Place (Gomer 1997) and Visions of Snowdonia (BBC Books, 1997)

“…No-one else in contemporary Wales is capable of writing prose of this exceptional quality.  …he deserves to be recognized as the most singular, and the most outstanding, prose-writer of present-day Wales…”
Professor M. Wynn Thomas, New Welsh Review

“..A remarkable and undervalued writer, a sort of rucksack Thoreau …some of the finest travel writing ever…”
Jan Morris, The Guardian


With respect to Menlove (Gollancz, 1985)

“…An exceptionally wise biography…”
David Craig, London Review of Books

Jim PerrinSelected Publications:
Menlove (Gollancz, 1985)
On and Off the Rocks (Gollancz, 1986)
Yes, to Dance (Oxford, 1990)
Visions of Snowdonia (BBC Books, 1997)
Spirits of Place (Gomer, 1997)
River Map (Gomer, 2001)
Travels with The Flea (Inn Pinn, 2002)
The Villain (Hutchinson, 2005)
The Climbing Essays (Inn Pinn, 2006)
West: A Journey Through the Landscape of Loss (Atlantic Books, 2010)
Snowdon: Biography of a Mountain (Gomer, forthcoming)

Contributed to:
Hen Dy Ffarm/The Old Farmhouse (introduction) (Gomer, 2002)
Collected Poems of Idris Davies (introduction) (Gomer, 2003)
I Know Another Way (contributor) (Gomer, 2003)
Megalith (contributor) (Gomer, 2006)
Jan Morris: Around the World in Eighty Years (contributor) (Seren, 2006)
Sea Stories (contributor) (National Maritime Museum, 2007)
A Landscape of Wales (introduction) (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2010)

Menlove (Gollancz, 1985)

MenloveA biography of John Menlove Edwards (1910-1958), the greatest of pre-war rock-climbing pioneers and one of the best writers on the subject. Jim Perrin explores the life of a tragic hero from the early days of British Climbing. Menlove was an inspired climber, and Perrin lovingly explores his life from birth to tragically early death. The writing style is highly literary, with frequent analysis of Menlove’s writings used to illustrate his intellectual development and eventual self defeat.

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Travels with The Flea (Inn Pinn, 2002)
Travels wwith the FleaA paperback edition of a collection of the unique writings of an eccentric and much-travelled author on many continents, comprising compassionate and humorous essays on visits to Cuba and Quebec, America and the Arctic, India and Hungary, including a record of his travels in Wales with his dog, Flea as companion.

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The Climbing Essays (Inn Pinn, 2006)
The Climbing EssaysLong recognised as one of Britain’s finest mountain writers, this collection brings together the best of Jim Perrin’s essays and articles on climbing. Perrin has selected these from four decades of describing and commenting on the experience of rock-climbing and the characters of the climbing community and includes rare, uncollected pieces, substantial new essays, ones that have been long out of print, and a lengthy and frank autobiographical introduction from one of the wild and subversive cult and grassroots figures of the British sport.

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