March Reader's Den: About the Author of "Love and Summer"
"Closing the gate again when she left the crab-apple orchard, she slipped the loop of chain over the gatepost. He had a way of hesitating before he spoke, of looking away for a moment and then looking back. He had a way of holding a cigarette. When he'd offered her one he'd tapped one out of the packet for himself and hadn't lit it. The rest of the time he was with her he'd held it, unlit, between his fingers." — Love and Summer, page 54
As you’ve been daydreaming of bouquets of lavender and hens in the crab-apple orchard, you may also have wondered about the background of the author who focuses on the trivial details that set such a vivid sense of place in the novel Love and Summer. This article "Talking with William Trevor: 'It all Comes Naturally Now'" by Constanza del Rio Alvaro (available in Literature Resource Center) gives some insight into Trevor’s inspiration and writing process: "I don't do anything more than write about people. If by chance, if on the way, I illuminate human nature in some way, well that's perfect."
Trevor was born in County Cork, Ireland in 1928 to a Protestant family. He attended Trinity College, and his early careers included being a teacher and a sculptor. He married and moved to England in 1952, where he has lived ever since. He published his first novel, A Standard of Behavior, in 1958 and is considered to be one of the best living short-story writers, and a playwright as well.
To read reviews of the novel Love and Summer, try these sources:
- "Love and Summer" Publishers Weekly, July 6, 2009.
- "A Fondness for Concealment" by Thomas Mallon. New York Times: September 18, 2009.
- "Love and Summer by William Trevor: Sebastian Barry Applauds the Timeless Integrity of William Trevor" by Sebastian Barry. The Guardian. Friday, August 21, 2009.
In ending the post for this week, I'd like to encourage you to examine the characters by asking one discussion question before posing more in next week's post:
"'There's not many as lucky,' he'd heard one of his sisters say in a telephone call that was made to Cloonhill, and hadn't known whether it was he or the girl who was referred to" (Love and Summer, page 22).
In this quote from the novel, who do you think Dillahan's sister is referring to as the lucky one — Dillahan or Ellie? Why?