Excursions in the Real World: Memoirs

Excursions in the Real World: Memoirs

by William Trevor, Lucy Willis
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A modern master of the short story brings his precise and compassionate observations to bear on his own life, in a book of recollections that is at once funny, poignant, and revealing. As William Trevor records his migration from the shabby-genteel precincts of Ireland's Protestant middle-class to the sleek vulgarity of London in the swinging sixties, from Cork and…  See more details below

Overview

A modern master of the short story brings his precise and compassionate observations to bear on his own life, in a book of recollections that is at once funny, poignant, and revealing. As William Trevor records his migration from the shabby-genteel precincts of Ireland's Protestant middle-class to the sleek vulgarity of London in the swinging sixties, from Cork and Dublin to New York and Isfahan, he yields luminous portraits of the people whose paths crossed his. There is the roaring schoolmaster with the passion for spelling bees; the glamorous emigre with a weakness for faithless poets. There are Trevor's parents, marooned in a marriage that grew more arid by the year. In Excursions in the Real World, Trevor turns memory into a fabulous balancing act between truthfulness and art.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Prolific novelist and short-story writer Trevor ( Two Lives ) here presents an autobiography consisting of 29 vignettes--a number of which have appeared in print before. He relates how it felt to grow up Protestant in ``de Valera's new Catholic Ireland,'' where he was born in 1928. We participate in his childhood adventures with Henry O'Reilly, ``the laziest man in Ireland,'' and the poor, tortured family maid, Kitty, who had ``stormy'' teeth. We also meet Miss Quirke, the omniscient teacher, who, a dreamer, ``deserved the Champs-Elysees,'' and the headmaster known as ``the Bull,'' who had a great suspicion about men in semi-clerical dress. The memoir is filled with wonderful reminiscences about Dublin and Trevor's undergraduate days at Trinity College, where studies never got in the way of whoring with ``the last of the night ladies--the best remembered a one-legged dressmaker from Cabra.'' We are also escorted to the swinging London of the '60s, and to decadent New York City in Watergate-drenched 1973 America. The author's sharp eye for people and events, subtleties and blandness, make this a charming read. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Well known for his novels and short stories ( Two Lives , LJ 8/91), the Irish writer Trevor brings together a good storyteller's recollections of people and places from his past. Versions of many of these sketches have appeared in The New Yorker and other periodicals, more than half in the 1990s, the rest in the two previous decades. Trevor describes his childhood in rural Ireland, school experiences in Dublin, work as a teacher and copywriter, and places he has visited. The writing is superb; Trevor makes clear the essence of unforgettable people--friends, colleagues, and strangers--in a few words. Places--New York, San Francisco, Venice, Dublin--are re-created from a new perspective. The 30 original drawings by Lucy Willis are an excellent complement to the text. Recommended, especially for biography and British literature collections.-- Judy Mimken, Saginaw Valley State Univ., Mich.
From the Publisher
"William Trevor is one of the century's greatest writers of the short story." —The Globe and Mail

"Book after book, story after novel after story, it's a wonder how anyone can manage every single time the impeccable crescendo, the perfect pitch, the devastating finale... Trevor is one of the great short-story writers of our time." —Alberto Manguel

"Probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language." —The New Yorker

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140240290
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/28/1995
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.49(d)

Meet the Author

William Trevor was born in Cork in 1928. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and has spent a great part of his life in Ireland. Since his first novel, The Old Boys, was awarded the Hawthorne Prize in 1964, he has received many honours for his work including the Royal Society of Literature Award, the allied Irish Banks Prize for Literature and the Whitbread Prize for fiction. He is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters and he has bee awarded an Honorary CBE. His most recent books are Two Lives and The Collected Stories of William Trevor.

Lucy Willis works principally in watercolour an etching and is one of the most versatile of contemporary British artists. Her growing reputation as a portraitist in oils was confirmed in 1992 when she won first prize in the BP National Portrait Gallery Award.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Devon, England
Date of Birth:
May 24, 1928
Place of Birth:
Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland
Education:
Trinity College, Dublin, 1950

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >