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Family Sins and Other Stories


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Trevor is heir to Elizabeth Bowen as an Irish writer who has mastered the English tradition and heir apparent to V.S. Pritchett as master of the short story. These dozen stories delicately evoke the emotional limits of disciplined lives: ``Rewards for decency are not duly handed out.'' Incidental details of daily existence are for Trevor shaped by family sins of omission, notably absent or distant parents, children, or spouses. These stories extract genuine pathos from the perseverance of ordinary characters in comfortless situations. Trevor does not patronize the unhappy. Of late his milieu is often rural and suburban Ireland, frequently in the late 1940s, and these stories will be especially welcomed by readers of his last collection, The News from Ireland ( LJ 4/1/86), and novel, The Silence in the Garden ( LJ 10/1/88).-- John P. Harrington, Cooper Union, New York

Trevor's characters seem resigned to the bleak fates they themselves have arranged: here, a daughter's virtue is traded for a bit of land and a seemingly happy union proves to have had grim origins. ``A dozen stories . . . examine an exquisite spectrum of human vagaries and foibles,'' said PW. ``One of the great short story writers of our age holds his own, turning out gem after gem.'' (Sept.)

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