‘The art of the glimpse’
Cheating at Canasta
in William Trevor
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In his non-fiction survey A Writer's Ireland, William Trevor distinguished short stories from other types of prose fiction by deploying the very same metaphor ('the art of the glimpse'), before suggesting that 'the modern short story deals in moments and subtleties and shadows of grey. Trevor's most recent volume of stories, Cheating at Canasta, exemplifies this point. The collection consists of a dozen short stories, half of which take place in Ireland; of the remaining six stories, four are set in England, one in Paris, and the title story in Venice. Trevor 'has chosen to embrace the pathos and yearning of the human heart as the focus of his fiction'. Jonathan Bloom eloquently declared, in a study which preceded the publication of Cheating at Canasta, 'a choice that makes him an equally elegiac and lyrical artist'.

William Trevor

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