Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neill's Hotel by William Trevor - a classic early novel by one of the world's greatest writers
The probings of an outsider bring havoc to a crumbling Dublin hotel
What was the tragedy that turned O'Neill's hotel from plush establishment into a dingy house of disrepute? Ivy Eckdorf is determined to find out. A professional photographer, she has come to Dublin convinced that a tragic and beautiful tale lies behind the facade of this crumbling hotel. The aging proprietor lies dying upstairs while her feckless son is lost in a world of drink and horseracing; and the loyal O'Shea, accompanied everywhere by his greyhound, seeks to keep the hotel on the road. As Mrs Eckdorf worms her way into lives that centre on the hotel, she becomes as much a victim as they are.
'An astounding richness of pathos, humour and tragedy' Francis King
William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, in 1928, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He has lived in England for many years. The author of numerous acclaimed collections of short stories and novels, he has won many awards including the Whitbread Book of the Year, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence. He has been shortlisted three times for the Booker Prize: in 1976 with his novel The Children of Dynmouth, in 1991 with Reading Turgenev and in 2002 with The Story of Lucy Gault. He recently received the prestigious David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement.