Calvin Trillin has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1963. He lives in New York.
Trillin's narration of his loving reminiscences of his late wife Alice might best be described as an unobtrusive narration: he steps back and lets the words speak for themselves. Unlike many other autobiographical narrators, he does not try to create the illusion of spontaneity or intimacy, as though speaking directly to the listener. He reads clearly and with expression, but it is always obvious that he is reading from a printed text. As a result, this audio offers the same experience as reading the printed version: the listener is deeply moved by the words and gets a vivid picture of this complex and admirable woman, but the narration itself does not add additional emotional nuance or insight beyond what is in the words themselves. But the words are so powerful that Trillin's love and admiration for Alice still shine through. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 30). (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
September 11, 2001, was a day of devastation for Trillin, but while he was sharing the grief of the nation over the World Trade Center attacks, he was privately mourning the passing of the most important person in his life. After a long battle with lung cancer, his wife, Alice, died during the early afternoon of 9/11, when the eyes of everyone else were focused on an unspeakable horror. She left him with a lifetime of memories about a highly successful marriage that he often chronicled in his witty New Yorker articles and that afforded him the opportunity to share this remarkable woman with his readers. To use a tired literary clich, Alice was his muse, his chance to see the world through an intelligent, creative, and often unpredictable partner. As is the case with many successful marriages, Alice kept her husband grounded for the most part but realized that he needed to be free in order to write the books and articles that touched the lives of so many. In fact, Trillin states that he is still receiving love and encouragement from Alice, and that, dear listeners, is the sign of a happy marriage. Read by Trillin and brief though it may be, this is one of the strongest and most touching love letters you will ever have the privilege to hear. Highly recommended.-Joseph L. Carlson, Allan Hancock Coll., Lompoc, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.