Trevor, William

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Trevor, William

William Trevor, 1928–, Anglo-Irish fiction writer, b. Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, as William Trevor Cox, grad. Trinity College, Dublin (1950). He settled in London in 1960 and five years later moved to Devon. Trevor's novels are usually set in England or Ireland, and he has often written of the troubles afflicting his native country. His language is unadorned and understated; his humor subtle and wry. His characters are typically ordinary people trapped by the limitations of circumstance, suffering loss and disappointment, hurt and betrayal, and struggling for understanding and resolution. He first achieved success with The Old Boys (1964), a novel centering on the effects of unhappy schoolboy experiences on the rancorous relationships of the old men the boys became. His other novels include Elizabeth Alone (1973), The Children of Dynmouth (1976), Fools of Fortune (1983, Whitbread Prize), Felicia's Journey (1994, Whitbread Prize), Death in Summer (1994), The Story of Lucy Gault (2002), and Love and Summer (2009). Trevor is one of his era's finest short-story writers, a master of the spare, melancholy, and ironic tale. Among his collections are The Day We Got Drunk on Cake (1969), Angels at the Ritz (1975), The News from Ireland (1986), After Rain (1996), A Bit on the Side (2004), and Cheating at Canasta (2007). A new edition of his Collected Stories was published in 2010. Trevor has also written a study of literary Ireland (1984) and a memoir, Excursions in the Real World (1993).

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