Picks and Pans Review: Excursions in the Real World

updated 04/04/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/04/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by William Trevor

In a departure from the world of fiction that he usually inhabits, William Trevor, best known for his short stories, has written autobiographical sketches that prove his memories are as rich as his imagination.

The son of a Protestant bank clerk, Trevor grew up in southern Ireland in the 1930s. After graduating from Dublin's Trinity College, he taught at a prep school and worked as a copy writer for an ad agency in London. As he chronicles these experiences or his later travels abroad, Trevor is guided by a sense of humor and an eye for the unusual.

Whether writing about his parents ("They were victims of their innocence when chance threw them together and passion beguiled them") or a colonic surgeon with shaky hands (It's quite safe, reassures Trevor, "the stomach's enormous. People don't realize"), he renders their proclivities and idiosyncracies poetically, comically and lovingly.

Deftly illustrated with pencil and charcoal drawings by Lucy Willis, Excursions reveals a writer practicing his craft in full form. (Knopf, $23)

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