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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

entry arrow3:50 PM | I Want This Book

Tim (Montes) has been praising this book to high heavens since we last saw each other. He recently emailed me about Trevor again, and he wrote:

Two literary saints for short story enthusiasts -- Alice Munro and William Trevor (one Canadian, the other Irish). Both have achieved magnificent bodies of work. Of the two, I find Trevor more awe-inspiring because his imagination is more supple. Reading his Collected Stories a few years ago revived my love for the traditional short story.

Anyway, while waiting for Richy two weeks ago for that post-birthday dinner at Sentro, I found myself in Powerbooks Makati turning over in my hands Trevor's newest collections of stories Cheating at Canasta. So tempting to buy it, even at P890 -- as a form of reverence to a master. Didn't buy it though, and chose to surf the net for reviews. Here's one I particularly liked, because I also happen to like the novels of the reviewer.

I am actually addicted to Trevor's prose style, I don't know why. I even read his bad novels. His best, as far as his novels are concerned ("a hit-and-miss thing", according to Chari Lucero) are the following: The Story of Lucy Gault, The Silence in the Garden, and Fools of Fortune.

He never won the Booker, and yet writers like Stanley Elkin and Julian Barnes have always admired him.

Of his late stories, I have noticed a falling off from the classical structure of his best stories from the 70s. The sympathy can be overwhelming that at times I ask for more irony. He's already 80, and still going at it, and gets preferential publishing treatment from the New Yorker which considers him "the greatest living practitioner of the short story form." Many young contemporary prize-winning writers owe their precocious wisdom from reading his stories: Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li, etc.

I want this book. Yun lang.

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