Excursions in the real world

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Hutchinson, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 200 pages
2 Reviews
These autobiographical tales are about people and places, personal fascinations and enthusiasms, that have remained snagged in William Trevor's memory over the years. He writes here of childhood and youth, of his schools and university days, his early life in Dublin and London, o Ireland and of England.  Most of the portraits are of people who have either been well known to him or casually met/ a few are drawn from the imagination, though the subjects are real.  Some of the landscapes are equally familiar to him, while others are merely glimpsed: Persia in the early seventies, a Swiss valley, Country cork in the thirties, a Gloucestershire village, Venice in November, New York and San Francisco. "Places do not die as people do," William Trevor writes in his introduction, "but they often changed so fundamentally that little is left of what once they were.  The landscape of the Nire valley that spreads over a northern part of Country Waterford is timeless, but the Dublin remembered here is the Dublin of several pasts, and elsewhere among these impressions there is that same dichotomy." Affectionate, poignant and often gently humorous, these essays are an expansion of a writer's notebook.  Such excursions into memory convey the essence of William Trevor's world - read in conjunction with Lucy Willis's graceful illustrations, they illuminate unforgettably the background to this celebrated novels and short stories.

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User Review  - stevesmits - LibraryThing

Trevor -- as always the most marvelous writer. I especially enjoyed his reflections on growing up in Ireland as a member of the (not so prosperous) Ascendancy. His memories of boarding school and ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

All of the fragments that make up this memoir by the contemporary master have appeared previously in (mostly) British periodicals. But not all of them meet Trevor's usually high literary standards ... Read full review


The Strand
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The Wardens Wife

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About the author (1993)

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown County Cork on May 24th, 1928. Trevor attended 13 different schools throughout the area including St. Columba's College, County Dublin, where he was taught by the sculptor Oisin Kelly. Graduating with a degree in History from Trinity College in 1950, Trevor worked as a sculptor and supported himself by teaching which ended after the prep-school in which he taught went bankrupt. Trevor exhibited his sculpture in Dublin and England and was joint winner of the International Year of the Political Prisoner art competition in 1952, raising his profile as an artist considerably. He emigrated to England in 1954. Trevor wrote his first novel, A Standard of Behaviour in 1958. He decided to move to London in 1960, as he was in need of a reliable income and worked as a copywriter at a London advertising agency. Although he didn't enjoy his time there it gave him the confidence to pick up his pen once more, publishing stories in both Transatlantic Review and London Magazine. Soon after, the publisher Bodley Head became interested in his work and asked him to write a novel. He reworked an unpublished short story, The Old Boys, which went on to win the Hawthornden Prize in 1964. His novels include The Children of Dynmouth, which won the Whitbread Award in 1976; Fools of Fortune which won the Whitbread Award in 1983; The Silence in the Garden which won the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award; and Two Lives, which was shortlisted for the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and includes the Booker-shortlisted novella Reading Turgenev. Felicia's Journey won both the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Sunday Express Book of the Year awards. Trevor is the editor of The Oxford Book of Short Stories and has written plays for the stage and for radio and television. His short story collection The Hill Bachelors received the 2001 Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction. In 1976 he received the Allied Irish Banks' Prize and in 1977 he was awarded an honorary CBE in recognition of his services to literature. In 1992 he received The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and in 1999 the David Cohen British Literature Prize. He is also a member of the Irish Academy of Letters.

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