It is a thousand pities that we failed to make as much of Berry as he deserved
during his lifetime. No doubt, he would not have believed a word of it but he
would have enjoyed the exposure, even though he himself made little effort to
meet other writers. Posterity will assuredly make up the deficit for us, but
that does not excuse our negligence.
Let us hope that somebody will now bring out his novels,
both published and unpublished, so that we can reach a just estimate of his
work. Until then, it is premature to talk (as the dust-jacket of the present
collection does) of the short story being the literary form for which he will
be best remembered. Berry's fellow Rhondda writer, Lewis Jones, placed his art
at the service of his community and wrote two novels in which he explored the
consequences of sacrificing himself to the public good. Berry, spectacularly,
took the other route. Who, I wonder, paid the greater penalty?
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