Douglas Trevor is the author of a recent novel Girls I Know which received glowing reviews from critics and enjoyed great attention from the readers. It didn’t come as surprising news – although it was his first novel, Mr. Trevor is already an acclaimed author of numerous short stories, mostly from the collection The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space, which appeared in a lot of different publications, such as The Paris Review, The New England Review, Glimmer Train and some others.
Speaking about his novel, he says that in it he tried to do what any modern American writer is supposed to do, even if he is not very enthusiastic about it – to tell about the USA as they are today, because nowadays this country is completely different from what it was like twenty or even ten years ago. He tried to face his characters with the issues that could not have risen before.
The novel has been in writing for the best part of the last three years and went through five drafts in total, going from a very convoluted and long first one to its final shape, getting shorter and more collected with each subsequent draft. Even so, the author admits that the pacing of the novel, especially in its first half, is rather slow, which still may cost him some readers – but, as the success of the book indicates, it didn’t harm its overall ratings.
Douglas Trevor has a PhD from Harvard, and didn’t conceal the fact that to a certain extent his novel may be considered to be a critique of this establishment – however, in a much lesser degree than it was initially supposed. People who are willing to read about the drawbacks of modern American system of education will still find something to their interest, but most passages dedicated to this topic have only been present in the book in early draft – later Mr. Trevor considered them to be too forced and unnatural to appear in the dialogues of his characters, which meant that they had to go.
Nevertheless, the author’s background as a university professor and an academic clearly shows in the text – he still states that a good person is indistinguishable from a teacher and pays a lot of attention to the idea of education in general. Probably his wish to become a writer to a certain degree could be traced to the desire to get his novel into the literary news, to make his voice be heard, to change something with his work. And teaching being the most important part of his life, it can certainly be called one of his central topics.