William Trevor has died at the age of 88. If ever I’m asked who my favorite living author is, I often answer William Trevor. His stories in particular have enriched my life, influenced the way I see other people, and have taught me that I need to be a better person, there’s so much pain out there in the quiet places already.
If you haven’t ever read anything by William Trevor, naturally I encourage you to change that. His publishing career spanned over sixty years, from his (later disowned) debut A Standard of Behavior in1958, to his final novel, 2009’s Love and Summer. Since Love and Summer he has published a couple of stories that remain uncollected, and they show that he wasn’t losing his touch. I hoped against hope that we’d get one more collection, or just one more story, from him. The last I know of was “The Women,” which first appeared in The New Yorker in January 2013 (see our thoughts here). The other uncollected story that I know of is “An Idyll in Winter,” which was published in The Guardian in November 2011 (see our thoughts here). It is one of my favorite stories of all time.
William Trevor has a few others that are in my “favorite of all time” list. But I think my true absolute favorite story of all time is his beautiful “The Piano Tuner’s Wives” (see my thoughts here). I reread this story — or listen to Trevor read it to me — often. It is a masterpiece.
Where to begin? There are many options. Last year my wife bought me one of my most treasured book possessions: the two-volume giftset of Trevor’s stories that Penguin/Viking published in 2009. I’d recommend it! Jump in . . .
I haven’t read a dud.