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Renowned Irish author William Trevor dies aged 88

The author died at his home in Devon, England.

William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault lost out to The Life of Pi for the Man Booker Prize 2002.
William Trevor's The Story of Lucy Gault lost out to The Life of Pi for the Man Booker Prize 2002.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

WORLD RENOWNED CORK-born author William Trevor has died at the age of 88.

The author, who is as known for his short story writing as his novels, died at his home in Devon according to his publisher Penguin Random House.

Trevor’s work saw him winning the Whitbread Prize for British and Irish fiction three times and being nominated for the Booker Prize four times.

Born in Mitchelstown in 1928, Trevor moved to England in the 1950s where he lived out his life with his wife Jane Ryan and his two sons Patrick and Dominic.

Shy of publicity, Trevor rarely spoke publicly about his writing.

His body of work saw him publish a total of 15 novels including The Old Boys and The Story of Lucy Gault.

Penguin Random House says that Trevor’s first published novel was A Standard of Behaviour in 1958 but that the he subsequently disowned the novel and refused to have republished.

Trevor was a longtime contributor to the New Yorker magazine and his Collected Stories, published by Viking in two volumes in 2009, runs to almost 2000 pages.

Some of the stories that may be particularly familiar to people include The Ballroom of Romance, Kathleen’s Field and Cheating at Canasta.

Trevor received an honorary knighthood in 2002 and in 2015 he was elected Saoi of Aosdána at a ceremony presided over by the President Michael D Higgins.

That honour was previously bestowed on other literary giants including Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.

In sharing his condolences with Trevor’s family this evening, President Higgins said it was with “great sadness” that he learned of the death of the “distinguished novelist, playwright, sculptor and former teacher.”

“He was a writer of elegance, with words and themes,” President Higgins said.

Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council, said that Trevor was “a writer of extraordinary gifts and achievement.”

“Trevor was a true master of his craft, and has profoundly influenced a generation of writers, in Ireland and abroad,” she said.

Read: Seven Irish authors make the longlist for €100,000 Dublin literary prize >

Read: Novelist Lee Child and Ryan Tubridy offer support as Gay Byrne prepares to fight cancer >

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Rónán Duffy

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