It’s National Short Story Day…

This year, National Short Story Day coincides with the Mayan-predicted end of the world. Coincidence? I’d beg to differ, as short stories do tend to lean towards the melancholy, so it seems perfectly fitting that the two events collide.

My favourite short story writer is William Trevor, and I’m sure one of his characters would react to the impending end of the world with a characteristic stoicism, an internal sigh of ‘Oh, well…’ – and a stubborn refusal to make a fuss about it.

I guess I love his stories because I often see my own traits reflected in his characters: occasional bouts of hesitancy, vulnerability, not saying what you wanted to say… but then, what makes Trevor a short story master is the fact that every reader will see themselves reflected back off the page, at least at some point in their lives.

My favourite Trevor story is Mrs Silly, from his collection Angels at the Ritz. Search it out and read it if you haven’t already – you won’t be sorry. There was a TV adaptation of it in the 1980s, with the sublime Maggie Smith playing the heart-breakingly fragile central character. Seeing as Downton Abbey is so popular, they may start bringing out lots of Maggie Smith classics on DVD. If you’re listening, DVD producers, start with this one…

Anyway, enough typing… here’s The Guv’nor himself, giving a rare public reading of two of his gems.

Happy National Short Story Day, and enjoy…


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