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William Trevor (1928–2016)

Author of The Story of Lucy Gault

114+ Works 12,233 Members 285 Reviews 67 Favorited

About the Author

William Trevor Cox was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland on May 24, 1928. He received a degree in history from Trinity College in 1950. Before becoming a full-time author in 1965, he worked as a sculptor, a teacher, and a copywriter at an advertising agency. He exhibited his sculptures in show more Dublin and England and was joint winner of the International Year of the Political Prisoner art competition in 1952. His first novel, A Standard of Behaviour, was published in 1958. His other novels include Other People's Worlds, Nights at the Alexandra, The Silence in the Garden, The Story of Lucy Gault, My House in Umbria, and Love and Summer. He won the Hawthornden Prize in 1964 for The Old Boys, the Whitbread Award in 1976 for The Children of Dynmouth, the Whitbread Award in 1983 for Fools of Fortune, and the Whitbread Award in 1994 for Felicia's Journey. His short story collections include The Day We Got Drunk on Cake and Other Stories, The Ballroom of Romance and Other Stories, Beyond the Pale, A Bit on the Side, Cheating at Canasta, and The Mark-2 Wife. The Hill Bachelors received the 2001 Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award for Short Stories. He received the Allied Irish Banks' Prize in 1976, The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in 1992, the David Cohen British Literature Prize in 1999, and the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award in Irish Literature in 2008. In 1977, he was awarded an honorary CBE in recognition of his services to literature. He died on November 20, 2016 at the age of 88. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by William Trevor

The Story of Lucy Gault (2002) 1,724 copies
Felicia's Journey (1994) 1,209 copies
Love and Summer (2009) 922 copies
Collected Stories (1969) 723 copies
Fools of Fortune (1983) 601 copies
After Rain: Stories (1997) 583 copies
Cheating at Canasta: Stories (2007) 478 copies
Death in Summer (1998) 476 copies
A Bit on the Side (2004) 473 copies
The Children of Dynmouth (1976) 406 copies
The Hill Bachelors (2000) 324 copies
The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories (1989) — Editor — 243 copies
Selected Stories (2010) 239 copies
Last Stories (2018) 220 copies
The Silence in the Garden (1988) 206 copies
Other People's Worlds (1980) 156 copies
Nights at the Alexandra (1987) 139 copies
The Old Boys (1964) 130 copies
My House in Umbria (2000) 126 copies
Elizabeth Alone (1973) 124 copies
The Boarding House (1965) 121 copies
Bodily Secrets (2007) 108 copies
The Love Department (1600) 99 copies
Matilda's England (1995) 98 copies
Miss Gomez and the Brethren (1971) 93 copies
Reading Turgenev (1991) 84 copies
A Writer's Ireland (1984) 84 copies
Deadly Sins (1994) — Contributor — 82 copies
Ireland (1995) 80 copies
The Dressmaker's Child (2005) 76 copies
The Mark-2 Wife (2011) 61 copies
Angels at the Ritz (1975) 58 copies
Juliet's Story (1991) 32 copies
A Standard of Behaviour (1958) 18 copies
The Distant Past (1979) 13 copies
Modern Short Stories 2: 1940-1980 (1982) — Contributor — 12 copies
The Old Curiosity Shop [1979-1980 TV miniseries] (1979) — Screenwriter — 7 copies
Geborgtes Glück (2008) 5 copies
Making Conversation (1995) 5 copies
Scenes from an album (1981) 5 copies
Going Home: A Play (1972) 4 copies
Penguin Modern Stories 8 (1971) 4 copies
Death of a professor (1997) 3 copies
The Women 1 copy
Dreaming 1 copy
Mauvaises Nouvelles (2000) 1 copy
Balvégzet Bolondjai (1987) 1 copy
After rain 1 copy
The summer visitor (2000) 1 copy
Marrying Damian (1995) 1 copy
Low Sunday, 1950 (2000) 1 copy
Old school ties (1976) 1 copy

Associated Works

Pride and Prejudice (1813) — Introduction, some editions — 79,737 copies
A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement, Spring (1962) — Introduction, some editions — 1,839 copies
A Dance to the Music of Time: Second Movement, Summer (1964) — Introduction, some editions — 923 copies
The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield (1945) — Editor — 887 copies
A Dance to the Music of Time: Fourth Movement, Winter (1976) — Introduction — 868 copies
My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead (2008) — Contributor — 760 copies
The Oxford Book of Short Stories (1981) — Contributor — 510 copies
The World of the Short Story: A 20th Century Collection (1986) — Contributor — 459 copies
Birthday Stories (2002) — Contributor — 451 copies
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories (1989) — Contributor — 427 copies
Great Irish Tales of Horror: A Treasury of Fear (1995) — Contributor — 319 copies
The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories (1994) — Contributor — 313 copies
Mortification: Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame (2003) — Contributor — 278 copies
Bad Trips (1991) — Contributor — 232 copies
Nothing But You: Love Stories From The New Yorker (1997) — Contributor — 184 copies
First Folio: A Little Book of Folio Forewords (2008) — Contributor — 178 copies
The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction (1999) — Contributor — 149 copies
Murder & Other Acts of Literature (1997) — Contributor — 147 copies
The Penguin Book of Irish Short Stories (1981) — Contributor — 129 copies
Great Irish Detective Stories (1993) — Contributor — 89 copies
The Treasury of English Short Stories (1985) — Contributor — 84 copies
The Oxford Book of Travel Stories (1996) — Contributor — 74 copies
The Ecco Book of Christmas Stories (2005) — Contributor — 73 copies
The Mammoth Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1998) — Contributor — 73 copies
The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories (1996) — Contributor — 70 copies
Nightshade: 20th Century Ghost Stories (1999) — Contributor — 64 copies
Dark Arrows: Great Stories of Revenge (1985) — Contributor — 60 copies
The Guardian Review Book of Short Stories (2011) — Author — 50 copies
My House in Umbria [2003 film] (2003) — Original novel — 46 copies
65 Great Murder Mysteries (1983) — Contributor — 41 copies
Great Irish Stories of the Supernatural (1992) — Contributor — 38 copies
Mothers and Daughters: An Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 33 copies
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Contributor — 32 copies
Night Shadows: Twentieth-Century Stories of the Uncanny (2001) — Contributor — 29 copies
The National Short Story Prize 2006 (2006) — Contributor — 19 copies
The Art of the Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories (2020) — Contributor — 18 copies
Good Housekeeping Short Story Collection (1997) — Contributor — 15 copies
Splinters (1968) — Contributor — 15 copies
Best Short Stories 1991 (1991) — Contributor — 15 copies
Best Short Stories 1992 (1992) — Contributor — 13 copies
Felicia's Journey [1999 film] (2007) — Original book — 12 copies
The Real Thing: Seven Stories About Love (1979) — Contributor — 7 copies
Demons within, & other disturbing tales (1977) — Contributor — 6 copies
Enjoying Stories (1987) — Contributor — 2 copies
Factions (1974) — Contributor — 2 copies
Seven Deadly Sins: A Collection of New Fiction (1985) — Contributor — 1 copy


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Common Knowledge




William Trevor’s stories are mosaics. They explore the actions, opinions and deeply ingrained views of people; the elderly, Irish, English, victims and perpetrators of The Troubles, those affected by war, the mad.

In the title story an illicit affairs smolders, gets hot, then sputters to an unsatisfying end over a number of years. War takes a toll on those at home in Matilda’s England, as Matilda grows from a young girl to middle-age and discovers her own cruelty that’s a reflection of the cruelty of war itself. In Torridge, an object of ridicule at an all-boy’s school gets revenge of sorts decades later.

Trevor depicts moral quandaries, and often the wrong choice has been made. In Death in Jerusalem a priest delays telling his brother about the death of their mother during a once in a lifetime trip to the Holy Land in an effort to not cut the trip short.

A strong collection of some of Trevor’s finest.
… (more)
Hagelstein | 1 other review | Jan 22, 2024 |
After recently reading Trevor's Collected Stories, I was impressed again at how good a writer he is. Understated, and understanding of the subtleties of Irish village life, this is a wonderful novel that traces what can happen when outside events occur to change ways of life that have existed for generations.
ivanfranko | 62 other reviews | Oct 30, 2023 |
All these stories are of the highest standard. Trevor knows how to tease out the emotion and the hidden root causes of his character's disappointments, dependence and resignation to fates that life brings. Whether it is a blighted childhood, the cruelty of one's village or deception by those with power, most of these stories cut to the personal impacts that the writer is so adept at examining.
There are so many stories (80 plus) that it's hard to imagine ever tiring from re-reading them.
1 vote
ivanfranko | 3 other reviews | Oct 25, 2023 |
Although not a mystery writer in the usual sense, the late William Trevor was nevertheless a mystery writer. Each of the 10 stories in his final collection of short stories, “Last Stories,” is a little mystery, full of subtle clues that lead to a final resolution. Or don't. Sometimes the resolution, like the clues themselves, are so subtle readers may be left scratching their heads.

As in any good mystery, there is a lot of misdirection in Trevor's stories. Even the titles misdirect the reader. When the title refers to someone, the story is most often about someone else. "The Piano Teacher's Pupil," for example, is actually about the piano teacher, not the pupil. Once she had a lover who in time abandoned her, yet she treasures that time when he was hers. Now she has a student, more gifted than any other, who steals something each time he comes to her house. Yet she treasures having him as a pupil. Paradise comes at a price she's willing to pay.

"The Crippled Man," rather than being about the crippled man, is mostly about the woman who takes care of him, although it turns out that he is taking care of her.

In "The Unknown Girl," Trevor's focus falls on Harriet, a woman whose home this girl had sometimes cleaned before stepping into traffic and being killed. Gradually Harriet comes to realize that the girl's death may be related to her unrequited love for Harriet's son.

Trevor's stories are like paintings on which the artist adds a dab of paint here and a dab of paint there. Not until the final brushstroke does an observer realize what the painting reveals. At times he even refers to different characters in alternate sentences in the same paragraph, requiring careful reading (and rereading) to understand what exactly is going on.

His stories don't make easy reading, yet they are so tender, so beautiful, so delicate that they are all worth the effort.
… (more)
hardlyhardy | 8 other reviews | Oct 20, 2023 |



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