‘Compassion thrown to the winds’
William Trevor and postcolonial London
in William Trevor
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This chapter discusses William Trevor's representation of 'postcolonial London' in two early novels, The Boarding House and Miss Gomez and the Brethren. The interaction between living in a boarding house and accommodating oneself to others appears in Trevor's first novel, A Standard of Behaviour. Two of his novels and several short stories foreground African and Caribbean characters, and many of his short stories and several of his early novels include people from the Caribbean, Africa, Egypt and South Asia as workers in hospitals, offices and night clubs. Elizabeth Alone centres on four women awaiting operations in a maternity ward attended by doctors and nurses from Ireland, Australia, Jamaica, Africa and India. Throughout his career as a writer, Trevor has not only dramatised the absurdity of 'class divisions, colour divisions, sex divisions', but has also shown how tragically such divisions can affect the lives of others.

William Trevor

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