See biographies by his wife, and also by O. Sandys (1946), and T. L. Williams (1970).
Evans was brought up in a Welsh-speaking community in Rhydlewis, Cardiganshire, and although he learned English at school and always wrote in English his work is influenced by Welsh syntax and vocabulary in a similar way to the way Lewis Grassic Gibbon's work in Scotland (written in roughly the same period) was influenced by Scots. Evans left school at 14 and worked throughout Wales in a series of menial jobs before turning to journalism.
His first (and possibly most important) work of fiction was a series of short stories called My People, published in 1915. It may be compared with Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and James Joyce's Dubliners. In tone, however, this work is closer to The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown.
Evans wished to shock the Welsh out of their complacency and smugness by contrasting the pieties of non-conformist Christianity with the brutal realities of poverty, meanness and hypocrisy he had personally experienced.
The work was savagely attacked by Welsh critics — he was known for a while in the Welsh press as "the best hated man in Wales"—but can now be seen as perhaps the first genuinely modern work of Anglo-Welsh literature. Evans wrote numerous other novels, plays and short story collections, but none attained the success of My People. His next collection, Capel Sion, was withdrawn from Welsh bookshops, because of the hostility he had aroused as much as for the subject matter.
by the book; O'R PENTRE GWYN I GWMDERI; Hywel Teifi Edwards; Gwasg Gomer; pounds 14. 99. A HITHAU'N ddeng mlynedd ar hugain ers.(Features)
Sep 10, 2004; Byline: EMYR WILLIAMS cychwyn Pobol y Cwm, mae'n ddigon priodol fod enw pent re enwoca'r Gymru gyfoes yn cael ei gyfosod a...