February 19th, 2007
Few writers have given me as much pleasure as Calvin Trillin, my guest on tonight's show (at 7:30; repeated on Friday at 10:30). Not that his subject matter has always been joyful. In fact, in his long career he's shown astonishing range -- producing comic novels (Floater, Tepper Isn't Going Out), humorous memoirs on eating out (The Tummy Trilogy), and political doggerel (A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme), but also stark reportage on terrible crimes (Killings). In recent years he's also given us a new kind of memoir -- nuanced, meditative, and often very moving -- such as Messages From My Father and, most recently, About Alice, a slender, poignant volume about his late wife. The new book is lovely, and getting a chance to talk with Trillin -- about Alice, but also about such silly topics as a tic-tac-toe-playing chicken -- was quite a privilege.
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