Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Cheating at Canasta: Stories

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Cheating at Canasta: Stories

Stories

by William Trevor

Cheating at Canasta: Stories by William Trevor
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2007, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2008, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

William Trevor was born on May 24, 1928, in Mitchelstown, County Cork, in the Republic of Ireland. He grew up in various provincial towns and attended a number of schools, graduating from Trinity College, in Dublin, with a degree in history. He first exercised his artistry as a sculptor, working as a teacher in Northern Ireland and then emigrated to England in search of work when the school went bankrupt. He could have returned to Ireland once he became a successful writer, he said, "but by then I had become a wanderer, and one way and another, I just stayed in England ... I hated leaving Ireland. I was very bitter at the time. But, had it not happened, I think I might never have written at all."

In 1958 Trevor published his first novel, A Standard of Behaviour, to little critical success. Two years later, he abandoned sculpting completely, feeling his work had become too abstract, and found a job writing copy for a London advertising agency. 'This was absurd,' he said. 'They would give me four lines or so to write and four or five days to write it in. It was so boring. But they had given me this typewriter to work on, so I just started writing stories. I sometimes think all the people who were missing in my sculpture gushed out into the stories.' He published several short stories, then his second and third novels, which both won the Hawthornden Prize*. A number of other prizes followed, and Trevor began working full-time as a writer in 1965.

Since then, Trevor has published nearly 40 novels, short story collections, plays, and collections of nonfiction (bibliography). He has won three Whitbread Awards, a PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In 1977 Trevor was awarded an honorary CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his services to literature. Since he began writing, he regularly spends half the year in Italy or Switzerland, often visiting Ireland in the other half. His home is in Devon, in South West England, on an old mill surrounded by 40 acres of land.

The heart of William Trevor's style is best illuminated by Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times, who wrote that "decisive moments define the lives of almost all of Mr. Trevor's characters, dividing their lives into an after and a before, a now and a then ... the line of demarcation in a character's life has less to do with the loss of love than with the loss of innocence - something happens to fundamentally change how an individual sees himself or his family or a friend; and in the wake of that revelation, his entire relationship to the world is altered."

*Established in 1919 by Alice Warrender and named after William Drummond of Hawthornden, the Hawthornden Prize is one of the UK's oldest literary awards.

Article by Lucia Silva

This article was originally published in November 2007, and has been updated for the September 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...
  • Book Jacket: Dadland
    Dadland
    by Keggie Carew
    In her notable debut, Keggie Carew examines the life of her father Tom, a decorated war hero whose ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Be sincere, be brief, be seated

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -