Trevor has long been one of my favorite short story writers. Like Thomas Hardy or Alice Munro, two writers he was often compared to, he could convey an entire life—its triumphs and sorrows—in a few deft sentences. When he died in 2016 the world lost one of its great artists. The stories collected here are the last he ever wrote. Each one makes clear the open-hearted, almost painful, compassion he felt for his characters. If you’ve yet to discover Trevor for yourself, this is a great place to start.
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 Review
With 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.
About the Author
William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, in 1928 and spent his childhood in provincial Ireland. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin. He is the author of fourteen novels and thirteen collections of short stories, and he has won many prizes. His short stories appeared regularly in The New Yorker, and his Collected Stories was chosen by the editors of The New York Times Book Review as a Best Book of the Year. His novels include Love and Summer, nominated for the Man Booker Prize and selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Story of Lucy Gault, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, the Whitbread Fiction Prize, and also selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and Death in Summer, a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of the Year.
Praise for Last Stories
“Last Stories is the final, brilliant collection by Irish Master William Trevor.”—The Washington Post
“Trevor was our twentieth century Chekov."—Wall Street Journal
“The beautifully written tales in Trevor’s Last Stories, now published and collected in book form after his death in 2016, are elegiac and profoundly resonant . . . A master of understatement and elegant, pithy prose, William Trevor creates an air of ambiguity and leaves it to readers to put the pieces together of his characters’ situations.”—New York Journal of Books
“William Trevor's prose runs as clear as water yet tastes like gin. The Irish author—who died in 2016, aged 88—was a master of understatement, depicting small lives with rangy precision. At its best his fiction earned comparisons with Chekhov; in turn, he influenced a generation of writers in Ireland and beyond . . . Trevor was and remains an author against whom other talents are measured. His work earns its place in the canon that 'time’s esteem' will keep alive.”—The Economist
“The stories are sharp and concise, containing whole lives in the span of just a few pages . . . Readers familiar with Trevor, who died in 2016, will find satisfying closure, and those new to his work will find reason to go back and explore his previous books.” —Publishers Weekly(starred)
“Beautifully composed stories . . . [Trevor] has long established himself as a writer of great charity for the ordinary person and sympathy for the hard knocks of the unheralded lives . . . Trevor’s characterazations step to the fore as the major aspect of his writerly genius . . . Trevor will long reign as a literary master."—Booklist (starred)
"Noteworthy for their striking openings and sometimes enigmatic endings that will leave readers pondering the fate of Trevor's characters long after finishing the final sentence, these stories fully embody his artistic gifts."—Shelf Awareness
“Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred)
"The master miniaturist’s final stories, written before his death in 2016, were among his darkest.. But there’s always comedy, as well as Trevor’s genius for compression and sly wit — and in the end, a sympathy for both victims and perpetrators that enlarges our consciousness of internal lives."—Vulture
“As always, Trevor navigates the rough seas of human relations with a new angle, fresh language, deep sympathy, and uncanny insight.”—Kirkus Review (starred)
“He is one of the great short-story writers, at his best the equal of Chekhov.”—John Banville
“[William Trevor’s] stories are formally beautiful and, at the same time, interested in the smallness of human lives. He was, as a writer, watchful, unsentimental, alert to frailty and malice. A master craftsman.”—Anne Enright
“A beautiful writer... I would not have become a writer at all had I not discovered his work.”—Yiyun Li