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Fools of Fortune (Penguin Classics)by William Trevor
Synopses & Reviews
Penguin Classics is proud to welcome William Trevor—"Ireland’s answer to Chekhov" (The Boston Globe) and "one of the best writers of our era" (The Washington Post)—to our distinguished list of literary masters. In this award-winning novel, an informer’s body is found on the estate of a wealthy Irish family shortly after the First World War, and an appalling cycle of revenge is set in motion. Led by a zealous sergeant, the Black and Tans set fire to the family home, and only young Willie and his mother escape alive. Fatherless, Willie grows into manhood while his alcoholic mother’s bitter resentment festers. And though he finds love, Willie is unable to leave the terrible injuries of the past behind.
"Trevor's finest novel to date is the story of Willie Quinton, who survives the horrifying destruction of his Irish family and home. It is the story of his English cousin, Marianne, whose love for Willie feeds from the ruins when she lives amidst them during his long absence. Finally it is the story of Imelda, Willie and Marianne's illegitimate daughter, who represents the love that, together with time's passing, becomes an agent of redemption for everyone from a host of miseries. But Fools of Fortune is far more than any tale of love or domestic tragedy and triumph. Bearing the weight of Ireland's turbulent history, the novel's violence—Willie's violence—merges with mystery and myth to become, finally, a legend in its own right." Reviewed by Chris Gavaler, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Seventeen-year-old Natalie Waite longs to escape home for college. Her father is a domineering and egotistical writer who keeps a tight rein on Natalie and her long-suffering mother. When Natalie finally does get away, however, college life doesn’t bring the happiness she expected. Little by little, Natalie is no longer certain of anything—even where reality ends and her dark imaginings begin. Chilling and suspenseful, Hangsaman is loosely based on the real-life disappearance of a Bennington College sophomore in 1946.
About the Author
William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, in 1928, and spent his childhood in provincial Ireland. He is the author of more than thirty books and is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters and a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Francine Prose is the author of thirteen books of fiction, including the novel Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award.
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