William Trevor fans are joyful that this week's New Yorker includes a posthumous short story by the Irish master, who died last November.
The appearance of Trevor's "The Piano Teacher's Pupil" recalls the time when New Yorker readers considered the publication of a story by him or John Updike or Ann Beattie a significant event. A new generation of writers I don't recognize as easily now appear in the magazine's fiction pages, the boundary between the reported pieces at the front of the magazine and the book, music, film and art criticism at the back.
The magazine deserves praise for discovering fresh voices, especially from other nations and different cultures, but I'm afraid I find them hit and miss. I have the same feeling about stories in literary journals. Guess I know how readers felt in the 1960s when Donald Barthelme began taking the place of John Cheever and J.D. Salinger.
Speaking of Beattie, who turns out short story compilations like musical acts produce albums, she has a new collection out, "The Accomplished Guest." I'm always happy to see a new Beattie book arrive. It' like a long letter from an old friend whose life experiences I've shared.