Elizabeth Alone

Elizabeth Alone

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

Alone together in a London hospital ward, four women take stock of their lives in this "deeply moving novel" by the award-winning author of The Old Boys (The New York Times). At forty-one, the news that she requires a hysterectomy strikes Elizabeth Aidallbery as something of a nonevent. But from her bed at Cheltenham Women's Hospital, the divorced mother of three comes to realize that she is at a crossroads. She meets two other women admitted for the same operation: Young Sylvie Clapper, who is preoccupied with her dishonest boyfriend; and poor Miss Samson, with her disfiguring birthmark, who runs a Christian boarding house. In the ward with them is Lily Drucker, determined to have a child despite insurmountable difficulties. With compassion and wry humor, these very different women share their lives, concerns, and regrets. Elizabeth faces a lonesome life that includes a childhood friend turned hapless suitor, and a teenage daughter who has...
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Last Stories

Last Stories

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

*A NEW YORK TIMES* NOTABLE BOOK The beloved and acclaimed William Trevor's last ten stories "The great Irish writer, who died in 2016 at the age of 88, captured turning points in individual lives with effective understatement. This seemingly quiet but ultimately volcanic collection is his final gift to us, and it is filled with action sprung from human feeling."— The New York Times Book ReviewWith a career that spanned more than half a century, William Trevor is regarded as one of the best writers of short stories in the English language. Now, in Last Stories , the master storyteller delivers ten exquisitely rendered tales—nine of which have never been published in book form--that illuminate the human condition and will surely linger in the reader's mind long after closing the book. Subtle yet powerful, Trevor gives us insights into the lives of ordinary people. We encounter a tutor and his pupil, whose lives are thrown into turmoil when they meet again years later; a young girl who discovers the mother she believed dead is alive and well; and a piano-teacher who accepts her pupil's theft in exchange for his beautiful music. This final and special collection is a gift to lovers of literature and Trevor's many admirers, and affirms his place as one of the world's greatest storytellers.
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The Boarding-House

The Boarding-House

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

A London boarding-house becomes a battle ground in this "dazzling display of character-led fiction" from the award-winning author of The Old Boys (The Independent). William Wagner Bird spent his life collecting lost souls—dispossessed immigrants, lonely old ladies, and the simply half-mad—to live in his London boarding-house. But when he dies, the true intent of his work is revealed in his diary. Bird had been watching them all closely, keeping notes on their sad and peculiar circumstances. And then there's the matter of his will, in which he leaves the house to the two tenants who most despise each other, the petty thief Mr. Studdy and the equally nasty Nurse Clock. In this "rhapsody to misanthropy" Whitbread Award winner William Trevor paints a fascinating group portrait of society's outcasts, each of whom sees their small life unravel "in a manner somewhere between Dubliners and Grimm's fairy tales" (The New York...
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Selected Stories, Volume 2

Selected Stories, Volume 2

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

A marvelous collection from "the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language" (The New Yorker). Four-time winner of the O. Henry Prize, three-time winner of the Whitbread Prize, and five-time finalist for the Man Booker Prize, William Trevor is one of the most acclaimed authors of our time. Over a career spanning more than half a century, Trevor has crafted exquisitely rendered tales that brilliantly illuminate the human condition. Bringing together forty-eight stories from After Rain, The Hill Bachelors, A Bit on the Side, and Cheating at Canasta, this second volume of Trevor's collected fiction offers readers "treasures of gorgeous writing, brilliant dialogue, and unforgettable lives" (The New York Times Book Review).
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Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neill's Hotel

Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neill's Hotel

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

The denizens of a crumbling Dublin hotel are the subject of a meddling photographer in this Booker Prize–shortlisted "masterpiece" (Irish Times). Once a flourishing establishment, O'Neill's Hotel has fallen on hard times. The same could be said for the people who live there. Among them are Mrs. Sinnott, the elderly, deaf, and mute proprietor; her drunkard son, Eugene; Morrissey, a small-time pimp; and the grim, lone porter O'Shea. But what might sound bleak to some holds irresistible allure for globetrotting photographer Ivy Eckdorf. Hearing stories of O'Neill's Hotel from an ocean liner barman, Eckdorf catches the unmistakable whiff of human interest. Surely some tragic story hides within this crumbling corner of Ireland. Now she intends to uncover that story, frame it just so, and turn it into her next coffee table book. Though she has no connection to these hard-luck souls, she has arrived. And no one's life will be the same—not even...
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After Rain

After Rain

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

Chosen by the editors of The New York Times Book Review as one of the eight best books of 1996, After Rain presents a collection of twelve dazzling, acutely rendered stories that plumb the depths of the human heart. "Short fiction at its finest."--San Francisco Chronicle.
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The Story of Lucy Gault

The Story of Lucy Gault

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

Shortlisted for the 2002 Man Booker Prize'A masterwork. I doubt that I have read a book as moving in at least a decade. A homage to the redemptive power of love' IndependentSummer, 1921. Eight-year-old Lucy Gault clings to the glens and woods above Lahardane - the home her family is being forced to abandon. She knows the Gaults are no longer welcome in Ireland and that danger threatens. Lucy, however, is headstrong and decides that somehow she must force her parents into staying. But the path she chooses ends in disaster. One chance event, unwanted and unexpected, will blight the lives of the Gaults for years to come and bind each of them in different ways to this one moment in time, to this wild stretch of coast . . .'Flawless. Guaranteed to keep you reading - all through the night if necessary - to find out what happens. Trevor's best novel' New Statesman'Dark, elegantly written ... a book to relish' Independent on Sunday
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The Silence in the Garden

The Silence in the Garden

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

The Whitbread Award–winning author "demonstrates a master's touch" in this tale of an aristocratic Irish family's ruinous path toward modernity (The New York Times). An island estate off the coast of county Cork, Carriglas has been in the Rolleston family for centuries. Sarah Pollexfen, a distant relation of little means, remembers the magical summer she spent there as a child in 1904. But much has changed in Ireland since then. And when Sarah returns nearly thirty years later, she finds Carriglas much changed as well. World War I and the Irish Troubles have taken their toll on the Rollestons. Sarah's cousins, who once seemed to sparkle with beauty and wit, have grown dour and withdrawn. And as Sarah uncovers the tragedies they've endured, she'll also discover the terrible truth about that seemingly idyllic summer in 1904.
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The Mark-2 Wife

The Mark-2 Wife

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

"It's like gadgets in shops.You buy a gadget and you develop an affection for it... but all of a sudden there are newer and better gadgets in the shops.More up-to-date models."William Trevor has been acclaimed as the greatest contemporary writer of short stories in the English language, likened to Chekhov for his insights into human nature. These three tales of obsession, heartbreak, silent sorrow and the small tragedies of ordinary lives are profound, immaculate and beautiful.This book includes The Mark-2 Wife, The Time of Year and Cheating at Canasta.
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The Love Department

The Love Department

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

The Love Department by William Trevor - a darkly comic novel about a thief of the heart, by one of the world's best writersFrom the offices of her Love Department, Lady Dolores cures the heartaches of the lonely wives of Wimbledon with inimitable flourish and finesse. When her newest protege, the somewhat naive Edward Blakeston-Smith, is sent on a mission - to learn the secrets of seductive, scheming Septimus Tuam and stop him in his tracks - he learns all about love, its friends and enemies.The Love Department was William Trevor's third novel, published in 1966. It will be enjoyed by readers of Colm Toibin, Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark.'A fantasy which proliferates entertainingly from a germ of reality - the reality of boredom felt by comfortably-off suburban wives' Listener'William Trevor can pack into ten or twenty pages an astounding richness of pathos, humour and tragedy' Francis...
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Death in Summer

Death in Summer

William Trevor

Literature & Fiction

Amazon.com ReviewA William Trevor novel offers the pleasures of a world so thoroughly imagined it makes real life seem murky and badly conceived. When, as in Death in Summer or in his previous novel, Death in Summer begins with one premature demise and ends with another; in between, however, Trevor explores the darkest corners of the human heart with a subtlety and compassion rarely seen in works of suspense.Handsome Thaddeus Davenant has just buried his young, wildly generous wife Letitia--a rescuer of stray dogs and a champion of street drunks. In contrast, Thaddeus is a kind of emotional cripple, scarred by a childhood spent lonely and unloved in his ancestral Quincunx House. He married Letitia for her money, as is immediately clear. Yet he would have loved her, if he had been able, and after their child is born he feels for the first time "possessed by an affection he had been unable to feel for anyone since his own infancy." When Letitia dies, victim of a freak accident, and none of the nannies interviewed prove suitable, her mother moves in to care for the baby. Mrs. Iveson has always considered Thaddeus "shoddy goods," and their détente only gradually thaws into something resembling warmth. Meanwhile, Pettie, one of the rejected nannies, has "taken a shine" to Thaddeus--with increasingly ominous results.Pettie inhabits a world far removed from the genteel decay of Quincunx House. Reared in the nightmarish Morning Star home, where the only affection was the creepy kind dispensed by her "Sunday uncle," Pettie is poor, broken, and pathologically starved for love. Trevor chronicles her obsession with Thaddeus in a way that makes clear both Pettie's humanity and her capacity to do serious harm. Still, this is a hopeful book. Grim as Pettie's story may be, she causes stony-hearted Thaddeus to feel the first stirrings of human sympathy, "as the warmth of blood might miraculously seep into a shadow, or anesthesia be lifted by a jolt...." Throughout William Trevor's long and storied career, his subject has been nothing less than the problem of evil, and in Death in Summer, he makes a convincing case for its origins in the absence of love. --Mary ParkFrom Publishers WeeklyA hot, beautiful summer in Essex provides the background for Trevor's latest novel, in which three deaths occur and people from all of England's social classes interact in unexpected ways. Thaddeus Davenant, the penurious descendant of an illustrious family, marries Letitia Iveson for her money but learns to appreciate her gentle goodness. When she dies in a freak accident, he's left with their infant daughter. After his interviews with nanny applicants fail to produce a candidate, his mother-in-law volunteers to move into Quincunx House to care for Georgina. But Thaddeus has unwittingly introduced evil into his household. Devastated when she is not hired as Georgina's nanny, desperate, love-starved Pettie, brought up in a foster home where she was sexually abused, becomes obsessed with the life she imagines she would live with Thaddeus and concocts a plan to remove Mrs. Iveson from the scene. Meanwhile, Thaddeus is forced to come to the aid of his former mistress, a lower-class woman whose illness and death coincide with his other crises. Trevor's insight into human nature and his dexterity in depicting characters from the lower strata of society are again displayed in this mesmerizing story. Pettie, like the heroine of Felicia's Journey (1995), has neither a consoling family nor inner resources to sustain her. The contrasts between Quincunx House and the Morning Star youth home, and between the genteel stoicism of the upper classes and the desperation of those with nothing to lose, are stunningly clear. As usual, Trevor's prose is meticulous and restrained, and surprises resonate after their quiet disclosure. His message?that life is cruel because death is random, but for some, life's cruelty is such that death is a balm?is conveyed with the ease of a master storyteller and humane observer.
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