Hailed as "probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language" by The New Yorker and "an extraordinarily mellifluous writer, seemingly incapable of composing an ungraceful sentence" by The New York Times Book Review, William Trevor is one of our most elegaic chroniclers of loss.
Set in a provincial Irish town against the backdrop of the Second World War, Nights at the Alexandra is a masterpiece of short fiction. Tracing the reminiscences of a fifty-eight-year-old Irish cinema owner named Harry, the story recounts the years during Harry's adolescence when he forges an unlikely friendship with an ÈmigrÈ couple recently arrived in his small town. Gently imperious yet strikingly beautiful, Frau Messinger, a young British woman married to a much older German, introduces a measure of color into Harry's otherwise black-and-white existence.
Disappointed by his dull family and his stifling boarding school, Harry soaks up Frau Messinger's stories of her youth and indulges her numerous flights of fancy. When Mr. Messinger announces his plans to build the town's first cinema and asks Harry to work its ticket window, Harry for the first time begins to imagine a life of possibility rather than privation. But the young man's newfound sense of himself comes not without its price, as William Trevor masterfully limns the border between innocence and experience, creating a subtle portrait of an adolescent moment that has the power to shape an entire lifetime.
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Nights at the Alexandra by William Trevor - a classic early novel by one of the world's greatest writers. A brief encounter in wartime Ireland - the memory of which lasts a lifetime. In a small town in Ireland middle-aged Harry looks back on his wartime adolescence when he fetched and carried for the beautiful young English woman who had taken over the big stone house with her much older German husband. But Frau Messinger's health is failing, and her husband decides to build a cinema in the town to honour her. Harry will work in it; one day he will own it; and he will always remain captive to the memory of the beguiling young woman who arrived suddenly from abroad and lit up his drab provincial life. William Trevor's gift of understanding the poignancy in apparently small lives is beautifully realized in this short novel. 'Perfect in its making and its length' The Times 'Certainly lingers in the mind. I am prepared to bet that I will still remember it in a year's time, which is a test of genuine excellence' Harriet Waugh, Spectator William Trevor was born in Ireland in 1928 and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He is regarded as one of the greatest short story writers in English, and has also written many award-winning novels, most recently The Story of Lucy Gault and Love and Summer. For many years he has lived in Devon.From the Back Cover:
"As his master Chekhov did, William Trevor simply, patiently, truthfully allows life to present itself, without preaching; he is the master of the small movements of conscience that worry away at the human imagination and our passions."
-- V. S. Pritchett
"Trevor writes of the piercing tragedies and grand dramas of everyday life in a tone through which the echoes of Chekhov and Maupassant are clearly audible. Like theirs, Trevor's view of the world is melancholy and unsparing... But like them, too, his work is supported by a fundamental optimism, a belief in the indomitability of the human spirit and rare sustaining power of love."
-- The Sunday Telegraph (London)
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Book Description Hutchinson, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. First. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0091684609
Book Description Hutchinson, 1987. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110091684609
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800916846001.0