A Bit on the Side - Twelve remarkable stories by the master storyteller William Trevor
'Compassionate, poignant, even heart-rending. Almost perfect works of art by perhaps the greatest short story writer now working in English' Sunday Independent
William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age. In these twelve stories, a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex-wife; a woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy; a schoolgirl regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her; and, in the volume's title story, a middle-aged accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair. At the heart of this stunning collection is Trevor's characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life.
If you enjoyed The Story of Lucy Gault and Love and Summer, you will love this book. It will also be adored by readers of Colm Toibin, George Saunders and James Joyce.
'A treat ... each meditate[s] on the subject of love - adulterous, unspoken, clandestine, sometimes cruel. Whether set in rural Ireland or London, their pages whisper of relished secrets and dreams foolishly clung to' Mail on Sunday
William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written eighteen novels and novellas, and hundreds of short stories, for which he has won a number of prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. In 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. His books in Penguin are: After Rain; A Bit on the Side; Bodily Secrets; Cheating at Canasta; The Children of Dynmouth; The Collected Stories (Volumes One and Two); Death in Summer; Felicia's Journey; Fools of Fortune; The Hill Bachelors; Love and Summer; The Mark-2 Wife; Selected Stories; The Story of Lucy Gault and Two Lives.
"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 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."
"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."
"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
William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written many novels, and has won many prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. His most recent novel Love and Summer was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He is also a renowned writer of short stories, and his two-volume Collected Stories was published by Viking Penguin in 2009. In 1999 William Trevor received the prestigious David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement, and in 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature.