Last Stories by William Trevor

William Trevor’s career as a writer was long and prolific.  Although better known as alast stories novelist, Trevor also wrote copiously in the short story format.

In this collection, unwelcome situations are a strong theme.  Whether it is the tolerance of theft, an affair not wanted, or a pushy person who somehow inspires empathy, a sense of intrusion provides the tension here.  Despite this, Trevor’s approach to  storytelling is subtle, and often you have to ponder what has just happened.

In “Making Conversation,” unwanted encounters with an obsessed married man put the main character in strange crosshairs with the man’s estranged wife.  In “The Piano Teacher’s Pupil,” the teacher in question finds that witnessing the brilliant talent of her student comes at a small price with each lesson.  “At the Caffè Daria” brings us a jilted wife as she takes in the news, from his last lover, of her husband’s death,.  And in “Mrs. Crasthorpe,” a widow determined to make the most of her inheritance flirts with a younger widower and struggles with an unhinged son.

There are ten stories in all.  If you are all about high action, these probably aren’t for you.  But, if good writing and subtlety is what you crave, then give Last Stories a look.

(William Hicks, Information Services)




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