Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cheating at Canasta

Our most distinguished Old Columban author, William Trevor, has just published his 11th book of short stories, Cheating at Canasta. In The Times, Neil Mukherjee writes that :-
True to such maturity and control, the stories are suffused with radiant and effortless majesty; a comprehensive ease of speaking about spaces in the human heart and mind that remains out of reach for most writers (continued here).

In the Literary Review, Cressida Connolly says :-
William Trevor does not flinch from horror and darkness, yet nor does he sensationalise these things. Evil may be inadvertent, or clumsy: it is never elegant or just; or even, of itself, very interesting. Its purpose, in his stories, is to test the moral limits of his characters. What is of interest to him is not the crimes themselves but the way in which they affect, change and damage people. He gives no easy answers. Redemption is not the point; a sort of desperate, unspoken atonement is more likely. Only love is noble, but it lacks the power to save a life. A husband plays cards with his wife, who is in a home, with Alzheimer's: tenderly, he cheats in order to let her win; it is her one remaining pleasure (here).

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