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A Bit on the Side


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About the Author

William Trevor was born in 1928 at Mitchelstown, County Cork, spent his childhood in provincial Ireland, and now lives in Devon. A celebrated short-story writer, his last collection, The Hill Bachelors, won the Macmillan Silver Pen Award and the Irish Times Literature Prize. His most recent novel, The Story of Lucy Gault, was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Whitbread Fiction Award in 2002. In 1999 William Trevor received the prestigious David Cohen British Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. And in 2002, he was knighted for his services to literature.


Perpetual award winner Trevor offers 12 stories sure to sparkle. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

The protagonists of this haunting, emotionally bleak collection of stories-a new widow confessing to two surprised Legion of Mary sisters the secrets of her marriage to a hateful man in "Sitting with the Dead"; a woman stalked by her lonely, possibly violent ex-husband in "On the Streets"; an heiress who compulsively recounts her tragic life story to total strangers in "Solitude"; and a couple who exploit each other on a blind date in "An Evening Out"-are generally 50-ish, usually childless and almost always burdened by regret over relationships decayed or forgone. They live in the aftermath of irremediable mistakes, ruefully cognizant that hope and romance are often delusory covers for self-interest and survival. Even the young-an 18-year-old girl who weeps with regret over future betrayals, an Irish woman who calls off her wedding after realizing she loves the dream of America more than her intended-are melancholy and introspective. Trevor reveals his native Ireland as a world sandwiched between modernity and its accompanying wealth, secularism and vulgarity, and a past that was more soulful and pious but also more restrictive. The much-lauded Trevor (Felicia's Journey; The Story of Lucy Gault; etc.) explores the many sources and shadings of regret with his usual delicate but brilliant psychological nuance, brightened occasionally by nostalgia for the lost love that once impelled his characters forward. Agent, Peter Matson at Sterling Lord Literistic. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Reading the Irish writer William Trevor is like drinking cool water when you are tired. You may think you want something stronger or fizzier than his understated prose and his calm understanding of the human condition; but before long you realise that he is providing the kind of refreshment you really need.... His [10]th volume of short stories shows him at his best.... He holds the attention without any melodrama or cheap tricks."
--"The Sunday Telegraph, April 18, 2004
"Beautiful, spartan prose...His characters are concisely drawn. [They] understand the consolations of sympathy. [This] is a suggestion that lends a human quality to his writing."
--"Saturday Telegraph, April 24, 2004
"Perfectly crafted stories... In his tenth book of stories William Trevor displays a matter-of-fact mastery. His tone and material are distinctive without any striving-it's rare for him to raise his voice.... Trevor keeps his point of view fluid, so that the reader's impressions of a central character can be enriched by other people's.... Trevor has laid claim to a large stretch of human terrain. He must go on exploring it, even at the risk of turning it into a private and increasingly imaginary country. Call it Trevorland."
--"The Observer, April 25, 2004
Praise for William Trevor:
"The greatest living writer in English is an Anglo-Irishman named William Trevor. . . . It might seem presumptuous to speak about Trevor in Shakespearean terms, but he is among the few contemporary writers who warrant the comparison."
--"The Globe and Mail
"One of the pre-eminent writers of his generation. He is arguably the finest story writer from the era that may have seen the form reach itsapex."
--"Toronto Star
"Often spoken of in the same breath as Joyce and Chekhov, Trevor shares both writers' subtlety, and, like them, is able to create distinct and mysterious worlds."
--"National Post
"One of the greatest writers alive."
--"The Chronicle-Herald (Halifax)

"From the Hardcover edition.

"Every story here is a model example of just how much a great writer can reveal in a short space." --Newsweek

"A Bit on the Side is a wonderful book... William Trevor really is the best short story writer alive." --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

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