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Born and brought up in Wales, Sonja believes her life and mind have been richly shaped by that Celtic land of song, soul, awen and a good tellin’ or story. Music and books have been significant strands in her varied life: from early singing achievements in school Eisteddfods and chapel to operatic parts as a student in London... on, on to ‘rocking’ or more ‘folklorique’ and classical ‘moments’ in the Midlands and France.

En route, Sonja has gathered in her fruitful basket three academic degrees, including a PhD from Birmingham University. She has a long interest in human and cultural development as well as a passion for music, literature, trees, and the environment. Forever morphing, Sonja unveiled her book, Doctor Sonja’s Bitches Brew: a ’telling’ journey through music spaces, which reveals the impact of music and musicians on her life, on her thinking.

Her first novel Sloughing the skin, is set in Brittany, and into which she has stitched wide–ranging Celtic connections, her love of mystery, people, philosophy, and, not least, a sense of humour.

In Music and Oppression: Shaping Women’s Voices in Estonian Cultural Spaces (2015) the author returns to her ethnomusicological interests. A special focus is on two female Estonian classical singers, a history of harsh Occupations of their homeland, Estonia, and the connection one of the singers has with South Wales.

Contrasting lives in South Wales, Herefordshire, and London is the focus of Dr. Sonja Strode’s latest novel The Hat Maker – a narrative often steered by two characters born in the 1870s in Newport’s poor docklands.

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