One Moonlit Night, By Caradog Prichard, trans. Philip Mitchell

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The Independent Culture

First published in 1961, this esoteric account of a troubled boyhood by journalist Caradog Prichard conjures up life in a small village in North Wales during the First World War. Prichard's locals include a sadistic teacher, an exhibitionist, and a child-abusing transvestite; "Ann Jones the Shop", "Will Starch Collar" and "Frank Bee Hive" prove only slightly more wholesome.

Over the course of a year, the nameless narrator loses one friend, Moi, to tuberculosis and is left abandoned when another schoolmate, Huw, moves with his family to the coalfields of the south. He finally loses his mam to the loony bin. A typical passage reads: "Auntie Ellen was a nice woman, but I never saw her laugh. Even when she was talking she had a sad look about her." An early precursor to The League of Gentlemen.