The Hill Bachelors - a remarkable collection of stories from the master storyteller William Trevor
'There is no better short story writer in the English-speaking world' The Wall Street Journal
The Hill Bachelors is a stunning meditation on men and women and the heartbreak of missed opportunities: three people are frozen in a conspiracy of silence that prevents love's consummation; a nine-year-old dreams that a movie part will heal her fragmented family life; a brother and sister forge a new life amid the terrible beauty of Ireland after the Rebellion; and in the title story, a young man chooses between his longtime love and a life of solitude on the family farm. These twelve beautifully rendered tales reveal Trevor's unrivalled compassion for the human condition.
'His tight, perfected short stories - each an astonishing performance in which melodramatic situations are turned, by acute psychological insight, into classic drama - make him the greatest living writer in English' Weekly Standard
Readers of The Story of Lucy Gault and Love and Summer will adore The Hill Bachelors. It will also be cherished by readers of Colm Toibin and William Boyd.
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.
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William Trevor has established a trademark for beautifully crafted human sketches which depict powerful situations and sentiments with an extraordinary economy of detail and expression. The Hill Bachelors offers 12 such sketches, revealing a master at the very height of his powers. The merest tips of emotional icebergs break the placid surface of his prose. Yet, through gesture, half-formed thought or barely-articulated wish, he indicates the memories, traumas and desires that lie beneath, ennobling the ordinary with an often tragic grandeur. His theme is often "what might have been".
The unrequited love of "A Friend in the Trade", the rejection of heroism in "The Mourning" or the renunciation of personal fulfilment, for familial or even national interests in "The Hill Bachelors" combine to establish pathos as the key tone of the collection. In the title story, 29-year-old Paulie returns to work the land of his fathers on a desolate hillside to the west of Ireland, full-knowing that this means he will never marry: "Enduring, unchanging, the hills had waited for him, claiming one of their own." Many of the stories are set in Ireland, and these have a richness of imagery and lyrical intensity that at times brings them close to prose poems. "Low Sunday, 1950," recalls Yeats' "terrible beauty" in its imagery of a landscape haunted by history; while "The Virgin's Gift" combines descriptive simplicity with religious allegory in a moving tale of a man's return to his parents after 40 years of self-imposed exile. --Robert MighallAbout the Author:
William Trevor was born in County Cork in 1928 and spent his childhood in various provincial Irish towns. He went to Trinity College, Dublin and then to England in 1953. He now lives in Devon. In 1977 William Trevor received an honorary CBE in recognition of his services to literature, and in 1998 he was awarded the prestigious David Cohen British Literature Prize for a lifetime's achievement in writing.
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Book Description Penguin, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 256 pages. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0140294694