Trevor, William

William Trevor
William Trevor. Image source penguin.com.au

William Trevor (birth name William Trevor Cox) was born in Mitchelstown Co Cork in 1928.

His novels include The Old Boys (London, The Bodley Head, 1964), which won The Hawthornden Prize; The Boarding House (The Bodley Head, 1965); The Love Department (The Bodley Head, 1966); Mrs Eckdorf in O’Neills Hotel (The Bodley Head, 1969); Miss Gomes and the Brethern (The Bodley Head, 1971); Elizabeth Alone (The Bodley Head, 1973); The Children of Dynmouth (The Bodley Head, 1976), which won the Whitbread Award 1976; Other People’s Worlds (The Bodley Head, 1980); Fools of Fortune (The Bodley Head, 1983) which won the Whitbread Award 1983; The Silence in the Garden (The Bodley Head, 1988) which won the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award ; Two Lives (London, Viking, 1991), which was short-listed for the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and includes the Booker short-listed novella Reading Turgenev and My House in Umbria; Felicia’s Journey (Viking, 1994) won both the Whitbread Book of the Year and the Sunday Express Book of the Year awards; Death in Summer (Viking, 1998); and The Story of Lucy Gault (Viking, 2002).

His seven previous collections of short stories were brought together with four new stories as The Stories of William Trevor (Penguin, 1989). Two further selections, Ireland: Selected Stories, and Outside Ireland: Selected Stories, were published by Penguin (UK) in 1995. His subsequent short story collections are After Rain (Viking, 1996); The Hill Bachelors (London, Viking, 2000), for which he received 2001 The Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction; A Bit on the Side (Viking, 2004); The Dressmaker’s Child (Penguin, 2005); Cheating at Canasta (Viking, 2007).

Bodily Secrets (Penguin, 2007), is part of the Penguin Great Loves Series.

His non-fiction includes a collection of his autobiographical essays, Excursions in the Real World (London, Hutchinson, 1993); and A Writer’s Ireland: Landscape in Literature (Thames & Hudson, 1984). He has edited The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories (Penguin, 1989), and has written plays for the stage and for radio and television.

In 1976 he received the Allied Irish Banks’ Prize and in 1977 he was awarded an honorary CBE in recognition of his services to literature. In 1992 he received The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and in 1999 the David Cohen British Literature Prize.

A member of the Irish Academy of Letters, Trevor was awarded a CBE in 1977 for his services to literature, and was made a Companion of Literature in 1994. In 2015, he was elected Saoi of Aosdána.

He had lived in Devon with his wife since the 1950s. He died in 2016.



The Guardian Obituary

William Trevor, The Art of Fiction No. 108, Interviewed by Mira Stout. The Paris Review

William Trevor at British Council Literature

William Trevor at The National Library of Ireland