William Trevor

William Trevor, Author

William Trevor was one of the most distinguished writers in the English-speaking world. In the course of a long and highly productive career, he wrote fifteen much-acclaimed novels. However, his achievements in short-story writing may be even greater, and it could be claimed without exaggeration that he is one of the two or three greatest writers in the form in the last 100 years. Born in 1928, he attended the College from 1944 to 1946 (under his real surname, Cox). These years obviously had a profound influence on him as he frequently returned to the experience in his writing, from fiction such as Fools of Fortune to memoir in Excursions in the Real World.

Trevor received an extraordinary array of prizes for his work, including in 2008, the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award in Irish Literature. Every now and then he was mentioned as a possible Nobel Laureate, though the nature of his writing - unpolitical, subtle, beautifully nuanced - made this unlikely. In any case, novels such as The Story of Lucy Gault (which is sometimes studied in English classes at the College), Felicia's Journey and The Old Boys put William Trevor at the front rank of modern literature.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2008, the College's English Department celebrated with an exhibition of his books, and a public lecture on his work. Since then William Trevor presented us with copies of first editions of many of his books, which are now on display in the Library.

On Thursday 23rd March 2017 the College marked his achievements in an event which included a reading and discussion by the novelist Joseph O'Connor, and a talk about Trevor's connections with and writings about the College by the Head of the English Department, Julian Girdham