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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > December 2017 > Past presence

Past presence

Helen M Walters explores the use of backstory and hidden history with a short story by William Trevor

Irish writer William Trevor, who died in 2016, is considered to be one of the best contemporary short story writers in the English language. This month I’d like to look at one of his stories, The Piano Teacher’s Pupil, that illustrates perfectly how a story can have much more to it than the actual action that takes place. As always, you will benefit most from this masterclass if you read the story for yourself.

The Piano Teacher’s Pupil introduces us to Miss Nightingale and a young student who she teaches in her own home. Miss Nightingale considers the young man to be a genius when it comes to playing the piano, but over time she also realises that, week after week, he is stealing from her.

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About Writing Magazine

Free your mind! In the new issue of Writing Magazine we look at finding new ways to expand your creative horizons. We also take a look at editing, and offer a practical plan to take your work from messy manuscript to a clean draft that will impress editors. In our star interview, Joanne Harris talks about folklore, fairy tales and sprinkling magic into your fiction. Plus inspiring ideas, practical exercises, success stories, writing prizes to win and much, much more!

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