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.
- First time in Penguin Classics
- Winner of the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award
"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)
"William Trevor at his best." —The New York Times
"Arresting, powerful, and indelible. A story of courage and love... as tender and wistful as an Irish lament." —The Washington Post
] confirms the belief that Miss Jackson is an exceptional writer."
—The London Times
"No one can question the author's great ability to do the kind of thing she wants to do. This is as disturbing a story as the shorter 'Lottery' was, and in exactly the same way."
—San Francisco Chronicle
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
(1916–1965) received wide critical acclaim for her short story “The Lottery,” which was first published in the New Yorker
in 1948. Her works available from Penguin Classics include We Have Always Lived in the Castle
, The Haunting of Hill House
, and Come Along with Me
and Life Among the Savages
available from Penguin. Francine Prose
is the bestselling author of more than twenty books and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in New York.