A Bit on the Side William Trevor's writing is as much about what isn't expressed as what is -- a study in negative space. A deliberate, slightly ominous rhythm propels… 2004-09-23 Fiction Viking
Book Review

A Bit on the Side (2004)

Details Release Date: Sep 23, 2004; Writer: William Trevor; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Viking

William Trevor's writing is as much about what isn't expressed as what is -- a study in negative space. A deliberate, slightly ominous rhythm propels the stories in A Bit on the Side, and the small-scale characters (a prep-school maid, a troubled priest, an adulterous accountant) are conjured fully with a few well-chosen observations: ''One shoulder taking the weight against the door-jamb, a single curler left in her hair, slippers on her feet and the folded arms.'' Each tale is rich with the layered depth of a novel. A piece like ''Sacred Statues'' -- about a poor woman who considers selling her baby to support her husband's artistic gift -- leaves you pleasantly disoriented, as if just emerging from a thick forest.

Originally posted Sep 24, 2004 Published in issue #785 Sep 24, 2004 Order article reprints