Influenced by

I wrote about one of my literary loves for The Believer, along with many other wonderful authors writing about many other wonderful authors…the entire collection spans the whole alphabet. Here I am at T, for William Trevor. (Scroll down–there are several Ts).

An excerpt:

The story of lucy gaultThe Story of Lucy Gault was the first Trevor I ever read. I’m not sure what brought me to it initially. It could be, I’m embarrassed to say, the blue hydrangeas on the cover. The book has the compact feel in the hand that I like best. However I ended up with it, when I finally read it the calmness and efficiency of his prose was a revelation, especially in the midst of my own floundering. The writing of openings, for me, is a long and painful struggle (and usually accomplished not first but last in the process); but the opening of Lucy Gault is a seemingly effortless masterpiece, as Trevor introduces Captain Gault, his marriage, his child, his servants, and his beloved home and the looming threat to it—for the Gaults are Protestants during the Irish Troubles, when the estates of the English were regularly torched—all in five pages. Miraculously, there is no sense of crowding, instead a measured grace…