Jun 19 2007
Calvin Trillin has excelled in so many forms of writing that his admirers may argue over whether he is properly characterized as a journalist, memoirist, novelist, humorist, or America's greatest living comic poet. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Trillin graduated from Yale University, where he was Chairman of the Yale Daily News. After serving in the Army, he worked as a reporter for Time magazine and covered the integration of the University of Georgia, an event that became the subject of his first book, An Education in Georgia. In 1963, Trillin joined the staff of The New Yorker. For 15 years, he wrote the magazine's popular "U.S. Journal" feature, reporting local events, both serious and frivolous, from all over the country. Along the way, he became a champion of regional American cuisine, a passion he shared in three books: Fried American; Alice, Let's Eat; and Third Helpings. In recent years, his gustatory adventures have taken him even farther afield, as recorded in Feeding a Yen: Savoring Local Specialties from Kansas City to Cuzco. Trillin has published three novels to date, including Tepper's Not Getting Out, without a doubt the greatest novel ever written on the subject of parking in New York City. Over the years, he has contributed regular opinion columns to Time, The Nation, and newspapers across the country. Since 1990, he has composed a weekly satirical poem for The Nation. These dangerously funny verses have been gathered in a number of collections, including Deadline Poet, Obliviously On He Sails and A Heckuva Job. Trillin's ready wit and dry Midwestern delivery have made him a popular live performer and television talk show guest. Among his two dozen books, Trillin has penned a number of highly affecting memoirs, including the best-selling Remembering Denny. In 2007, he published a deeply moving tribute to his late wife, About Alice. In the book, he fondly recalls their meeting, her own distinguished career as writer and educator, and the joys of their 36-year marriage. Transcending his sense of loss, Trillin's book is suffused with love and with gratitude for the time he and Alice shared.