Excursions in the real world : memoirs

by William Trevor

Paper Book, 1994




New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1994.


A modern master of the short story brings his precise and compassionate observations to bear on his own life, in a book of recollections that is at once funny, poignant, and revealing--an eloquent book in which Trevor turns memory into a balancing act between truthfulness and art. Illustrations.

User reviews

LibraryThing member SeanLong
William Trevor’s Excursions in the Real World is a book of myriad essays, more or less in chronological order, though they are memoirs only and not a full-fledged autobiography. In all these re-creations Trevor depicts an exceptional power of forgiveness. Henry O'Reilly, the farmer who once taught him to snare a rabbit, was known as the laziest man in Ireland, but seemed to him the nicest. Marchant Smith was a ruinous bully, but at least he employed the otherwise unemployable. A co-woker named Sarzy soon became impossible, but she was an innocent, and innocence is a quality Trevor highly prizes. It’s a delightful book, which seemed so relaxed as to be almost casual.… (more)
LibraryThing member yooperprof
The autobiographical essays - mostly about the author's upbringing in rural Ireland in the 1930s and 40s - are much better than the travel essays, which while well-written rarely rise above the level of competency.
LibraryThing member stevesmits
Trevor -- as always the most marvelous writer. I especially enjoyed his reflections on growing up in Ireland as a member of the (not so prosperous) Ascendancy. His memories of boarding school and Trinity are poignant and funny. He offers frank opinions, not the usual paeans of praise, on the personalities of some of the notables of Irish literature: Yeats, O'Casey and Beckett. Fascinating on a now obscure writer Gerhardie, well-respected for a time but later burned out. Wonderful description of his walk through the mountains near Tipperary and Clonmel. Didn't care as much for his musings on New York in the early 70's or on Venice.… (more)


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