The Collected Stories

( 3 )

Overview

From his debut collection, The Day We Got Drunk on Cake, published in 1968, to Family Sins (1990), William Trevor has crafted the short story to perfection, giving us brilliant and subtle stories full of the reversals, surprises, and shadowy truths we discover in life itself. To read this volume is not just to encounter an extraordinary literary stylist, but to understand life as surely as though we were looking through the eyes of his protagonists and - deeper still - into their hearts. William Trevor: The ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$20.76
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$30.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (55) from $1.99   
  • New (17) from $16.46   
  • Used (38) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

From his debut collection, The Day We Got Drunk on Cake, published in 1968, to Family Sins (1990), William Trevor has crafted the short story to perfection, giving us brilliant and subtle stories full of the reversals, surprises, and shadowy truths we discover in life itself. To read this volume is not just to encounter an extraordinary literary stylist, but to understand life as surely as though we were looking through the eyes of his protagonists and - deeper still - into their hearts. William Trevor: The Collected Stories includes the tales from his seven previous books, as well as four stories that have never appeared in book form in America. They depict the comforts and frustrations of life in rural Ireland, the complexities of family relationships, and the elusive grace of love. They portray the almost invisible strands that bind people to each other as well as the chains that imprison them in solitary yearning.

This collection includes tales from the award-winning author's seven previous books of short stories, as well as four that have never appeared in paperback form in America. Startling, funny, compassionate, and profound, Trevor's stories engage and provoke as only the best fiction can.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Reynolds Price
Work of impeccable strength and piercing profundity. —The New York Times Book Review
New Yorker
Trevor is probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.
Reynolds Price
Work of impeccable strength and piercing profundity. -- The New York Times Book Review
The New Yorker
Trevor is probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.
New York Times Books of the Century
Because his prose is as plain and natural as daylight, his tremendous achievement seems effortless....There is always the rising hint of faint laughter here (1993).
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140232455
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1993
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 1280
  • Sales rank: 381,459
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 2.01 (d)

Meet the Author

William Trevor

William Trevor is the author of twenty-nine books, including Felicia’s Journey, which won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and was made into a motion picture. In 1996 he was the recipient of the Lannan Award for Fiction. In 2001, he won the Irish Times Literature Prize for fiction. Two of his books were chosen by The New York Times as best books of the year, and his short stories appear regularly in the New Yorker. In 1997, he was named Honorary Commander of the British Empire. He lives in Devon, England.

Biography

"William Trevor is an extraordinarily mellifluous writer, seemingly incapable of composing an ungraceful sentence," Brooke Adams once wrote in the New York Times Book Review. Hailed by the New Yorker as "probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language," Trevor has also written over a dozen acclaimed novels as well as several plays. His characters are often people whose desires have been unfulfilled, and who come to rely on various forms of self-deception and fantasy to make their lives bearable.

Trevor was born in 1928 to a middle-class, Protestant family in Ireland. After graduating from Trinity College with a degree in history, he attempted to carve out a career as a sculptor. He moved to England in 1954 and exhibited his sculptures there; he also wrote his first novel, A Standard of Behavior, which was published in 1958 but met with little critical success. His second novel, The Old Boys, won the 1964 Hawthornden Prize for Literature and marked the beginning of a long and prolific career as a novelist, short-story writer and playwright.

Three of Trevor's novels have won the prestigious Whitbread Novel of the Year Award: The Children of Dynmouth, Fools of Fortune and Felicia's Journey. Felicia's Journey, about a pregnant Irish girl who goes to England to find the lover who abandoned her, was adapted for the screen in 1999 by director Atom Egoyan. Trevor, who has described himself as a short-story writer who enjoys writing novels, has also written such celebrated short stories as "Three People," in which a woman who murdered her disabled sister harbors an unspoken longing for the man who provided her with an alibi, and "The Mourning," about a young man who is pressed by political activists into planting a bomb (both from The Hill Bachelors).

Some critics have noted a change in Trevor's work over the years: his early stories tend to contain comic sketches of England, while his later ones describe Ireland with the elegiac tone of an expatriate. Trevor, who now lives in Devon, England, has suggested that he has something of an outsider's view of both countries. "I feel a sense of freshness when I come back [to Ireland]," he said in a 2000 Irish radio interview. "If I lived in, say, Dungarvan or Skibbereen, I think I wouldn't notice things."

As it stands, Trevor is clearly a writer who notices things, just as one of his characters notices "the glen and the woods and the seashore, the flat rocks where the shrimp pools were, the room she woke up in, the chatter of the hens in the yard, the gobbling of the turkeys, her footsteps the first marks on the sand when she walked to Kilauran to school" (The Story of Lucy Gault). Yet as Trevor told an interviewer for The Irish Times, "You mustn't write about what you know. You must use your imagination. Fiction is an act of the imagination." Trevor's fertile imagination captures, as Alice McDermott wrote in The Atlantic, "the terrible beauty of Ireland's fate, and the fate of us all -- at the mercy of history, circumstance, and the vicissitudes of time."

Good To Know

When Trevor was growing up, he wanted to be a clerk in the Bank of Ireland -- following in the footsteps of his father, James William Cox. Cox's career as a bank manager took the family all over Ireland, and Trevor attended over a dozen different schools before entering Trinity College in Dublin.

Trevor married his college sweetheart, Jane Ryan, in 1952. After the birth of their first son, Trevor worked for a time as an advertising copywriter in London. He also sculpted and worked as an art teacher, but gave up his sculpting after it became "too abstract."

In addition to the 1999 film Felicia's Journey, two other movies have been based on Trevor's works: Fools of Fortune (1990), directed by Pat O'Connor, and Attracta (1983), directed by Kieran Hickey. According to Trevor's agent, the plays Reading Turgenev and My House in Umbria are also being adapted for the screen.

Trevor is also the author of several plays, most of which are not in print in the U.S. Works include Scenes from an Album, Marriages, and Autumn Sunshine.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      William Trevor Cox (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Devon, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 24, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland
    1. Education:
      Trinity College, Dublin, 1950

Table of Contents


A Meeting in Middle Age
Access to the Children
The General's Day
Memories of Youghal
The Table
A School Story
The Penthouse Apartment
In at the Birth
The Introspections of J. P. Powers
The Day We Got Drunk on Cake
Miss Smith
The Hotel of the Idle Moon
Nice Day at School
The Original Sins of Edward Tripp
The Forty-seventh Saturday
The Ballroom of Romance
A Happy Family
The Grass Widows
The Mark-2 Wife
An Evening with John Joe Dempsey
Kinkies
Going Home
A Choice of Butchers
O Fat White Woman
Raymond Bamber and Mrs. Fitch
The Distant Past
In Isfahan
Angels at the Ritz
The Death of Peggy Meehan
Mrs. Silly
A Complicated Nature
Teresa's Wedding
Office Romances
Mr. McNamara
Afternoon Dancing
Last Wishes
Mrs. Acland's Ghosts
Another Christmas
Broken Homes
Matilda's England: 1. The Tennis Court; 2. The Summer-house; 3. The Drawing-room
Torridge
Death in Jerusalem
Lovers of Their Time
The Raising of Elvira Tremlett
Flights of Fancy
Attracta
A Dream of Butterflies
The Bedroom Eyes of Mrs. Vansittart
Downstairs at Fitzgerald's
Mulvihill's Memorial
Beyond the Pale
The Blue Dress
The Teddy-bears' Picnic
The Time of Year
Being Stolen From
Mr Tennyson
Autumn Sunshine
Sunday Drinks
The Paradise Lounge
Mags
The News from Ireland
On the Zattere
The Wedding in the Garden
Lunch in Winter
The Property of Colette Nervi
Running Away
Cocktails at Doney's
Her Mother's Daughter
Bodily Secrets
Two More Gallants
The Smoke Trees of San Pietro
Virgins
Music
Events at Drimaghleen
Family Sins
A Trinity
The Third Party
Honeymoon in Tramore
The Printmaker
In Love with Ariadne
A Husband's Return
Coffee with Oliver
August Saturday
Children of the Headmaster
Kathleen's Field
Acknowledgments
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2005

    Masterful and dazzling, with an astonishing variety

    It took me a couple of months to make my way through these 85 stories and it was definitely worth the time I spent with them. Trevor's prose is always simple and clear, yet his range of characters and plots is astonishing because of their superbly captured detail and variety. Most of these stories deal with Irish and English characters, and many swirl around the realities or possibilities of extramarital affairs. 'In Isfahan,' one of Trevor's best stories, a married middle-aged man carries on an impromptu affair with a young woman he meets while in Iran; in 'Lovers of Their Time,' another top-notch story, a married man carries on a long-term affair with a shop girl by meeting her in a hotel¿s second-floor public bathroom. Trevor is also quite adept of presenting the romantic yearnings of women. In 'The Ballroom of Romance,' a country girl's dreams and consequences are highlighted in her trips to the local dance hall; in 'Afternoon Dancing,' a middle-aged married woman dallies with the idea of an affair with her dance partner after the death of her close friend. Like Chekhov, to whom Trevor is often compared, this writer also has an admirable sense of comedy. 'Mulvhill¿s Memorial' finds an unlikely pornographic set-up within an office; 'The Trinity' has a couple booking a vacation to Venice and ending up in Switzerland. Accidents spiral out of control in 'The Penthouse Apartment,' and in 'A Complicated Nature,' a man is forced to help his upstairs neighbor when her suitor unexpectedly dies. Another one of the best stories of this collection is 'Broken Homes,' where an elderly woman suffers the indignities of having her kitchen painted by a team of indifferent youths. Other first-rate stories include 'The Smoke Trees of San Pietro,' where a boy¿s sickness propels his mother into an affair, and 'Death in Jerusalem' where a mother dies while on vacation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2000

    The Greatest Living Writer in the English Language

    I keep this book in the back of my car. It rests under yellowing newspapers, discarded To Do Lists (rarely looked at or achieved), a Thomas Guide to Los Angeles and a few stray Starbucks coffee containers. Okay, I'm a slob. But the reason William Trevor's stories go with me wherever I go is I never know when I will be overcome with the urge to read his luminous prose. There is no greater writer today. His characters are richly complex. The worlds they inhabit are diverse, shifting and soaked with truth. I hope Mr. Trevor continues to write for many years to come. And I hope one day I might buy him a pint to thank him for the joy he has brought me and thousands others. Bravo.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)