Chosen by the editors of The New York Times Book Review as one of the eight best books of 1996, and by the Boston Globe as one of the six best books of fiction of 1996 ? Appeared on several bestseller lists, including The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Village Voice Literary Supplement ? William Trevor was the recipient of a 1996 Lannan Literary Award for fiction ? Felicia?s Journey, William Trevor?s previous national bestseller, won England?s prestigious Whitbread Fiction Prize and the Sunday Express Prize. ? American Library Association Notable Book William Trevor has long been hailed as one of the greatest living writers of the short story. In this collection of twelve dazzling, acutely rendered tales, he once again plumbs the depths of the human heart. Here we meet a blind piano tuner whose wonderful memories of his first wife are cruelly distorted by his second; a woman in a difficult marriage who must chose between her indignant husband and her closest friend; two children, survivors of divorce, who mimic their parents? melodramas; a heartbroken woman traveling alone in Italy who experiences an epiphany studying a forgotten artist?s Annunciation. Trevor is, in his own words, ?a storyteller. My fiction may, now and again, illuminate aspects of the human condition, but I do not consciously set out to do so.? Conscious or not, he touches us in ways that few writers even dare to try
There are few contemporary writers who can match the quiet dignity with which Trevor embues his writing, or his command of the short story form. After last year's remarkable novel, Felicia's Journey, he returns here to more mundane lives. These 12 tales stay well within the bounds of conventional storytelling: there are no fractured narratives or disjointed memories delivered solely for effect. Instead, each of these stories pursues a classic but effective structure: a thinly held equilibrium is disturbed, leading first to a general collapse, then to an emotional plateau in which something vital has changed. In "A Friendship," Francesca, an unhappy housewife, begins an affair with an old acquaintance. The liaison does not lead to the expected dissolution of her marriage but, instead, to a loss of another part of her life. In "The Potato Dealer," an unplanned pregnancy forces a young woman into a marriage of convenience with a middle-aged potato trader. Though never loving, the union achieves a type of friendship; a friendship that is then irrevocably broken by the revelation of secrets. The domestic vein of most of these stories is epitomized by "The Piano Tuner's Wives," in which a second marriage's competition with the first is handled with lyricism and a haunting simplicity, and by "Marrying Damian," in which a couple must struggle to accept their daughter's love affair with their friend, a middle-aged roustabout. Politics, too, finds its way into current lives. In "Lost Ground," the collection's longest tale, the troubles in Northern Ireland provide the impetus for a young boy's tragic death. Each of these stories is rendered with Trevor's characteristic economy. The deft handling of information, as well as the exquisite sense of control, again show Trevor as a brilliant master of his craft.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
September 30, 1997
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.