American readers of William Trevor’s fiction may find themselves at something of a loss to decide precisely what nationality or ethnic identity to assign to this acknowledged master of the short story. The usual epithet for Trevor is Anglo-Irish, which, particularly for readers unfamiliar with Ireland, roughly places him, because he was born and raised in Ireland, went to school there, attended Trinity College, Dublin—and because a quarter of the eighty-odd pieces in his Collected Stories are set in Ireland or are peopled by Irish characters living abroad, usually in England.[1] He himself has for many years lived and written in Devon.

The term “Anglo-Irish” usually either embraces the members and descendants of the Protestant Ascendancy like Yeats, Synge, and Lady Gregory—prime movers in the Irish Literary Revival; or it brings to mind the fiction written by...


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