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1 Hawthorne Journalism- General

About Alice

by

About Alice Cover

ISBN13: 9781400066155
ISBN10: 1400066158
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"About Alice, Calvin Trillin's moving tribute to his wife of almost 40 years, is a slender volume that packs a hefty punch. Anyone who wants to know what it might be like to love the same person for most of a lifetime has only to pick up this little book to find out." Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Calvin Trillin's antic tales of family life, she was portrayed as the wife who had a weird predilection for limiting our family to three meals a day and the mother who thought that if you didn't go to every performance of your child's school play, the county would come and take the child. Now, five years after her death, her husband offers this loving portrait of Alice Trillin off the page — an educator who was equally at home teaching at a university or a drug treatment center, a gifted writer, a stunningly beautiful and thoroughly engaged woman who, in the words of a friend, managed to navigate the tricky waters between living a life you could be proud of and still delighting in the many things there are to take pleasure in.

Though it deals with devastating loss, About Alice is also a love story, chronicling a romance that began at a Manhattan party when Calvin Trillin desperately tried to impress a young woman who seemed to glow. "You have never again been as funny as you were that night," Alice would say, twenty or thirty years later. "You mean I peaked in December of 1963?" "I'm afraid so." But he never quit trying to impress her. In his writing, she was sometimes his subject and always his muse. The dedication of the first book he published after her death read, "I wrote this for Alice. Actually, I wrote everything for Alice."

In that spirit, Calvin Trillin has, with About Alice, created a gift to the wife he adored and to his readers.

Review:

"Trillin (A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme), a staff writer with the New Yorker since 1963, has often written about the members of his family, notably his wife, Alice, whom he married in 1965. A graduate of Wellesley and Yale, she was a writer and educator who survived a 1976 battle with lung cancer. In 1981, she founded a TV production company, Learning Designs, producing PBS's Behind the Scenes to teach children creative thinking; her book Dear Bruno (1996) was intended to reassure children who had cancer. A weakened heart due to radiation treatments led to her death on September 11, 2001, at age 63. Avoiding expressions of grief, Trillin unveils a straightforward, honest portrait of their marriage and family life in this slim volume, opening with the suggestion that he had previously mischaracterized Alice when he wrote her into 'stories that were essentially sitcoms.' Looking back on their first encounter, he then focuses on her humor, her beauty, her 'child's sense of wonderment,' her relationship with her daughters and her concern for others. Trillin's 12-page 'Alice, Off the Page' was published earlier this year in the New Yorker, and his expansion of his original essay into this touching tribute is certain to stir emotions." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Trillin (A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme), a staff writer with the New Yorker since 1963, has often written about the members of his family, notably his wife, Alice, whom he married in 1965. A graduate of Wellesley and Yale, she was a writer and educator who survived a 1976 battle with lung cancer. In 1981, she founded a TV production company, Learning Designs, producing PBS's Behind the Scenes to teach children creative thinking; her book Dear Bruno (1996) was intended to reassure children who had cancer. A weakened heart due to radiation treatments led to her death on September 11, 2001, at age 63. Avoiding expressions of grief, Trillin unveils a straightforward, honest portrait of their marriage and family life in this slim volume, opening with the suggestion that he had previously mischaracterized Alice when he wrote her into 'stories that were essentially sitcoms.' Looking back on their first encounter, he then focuses on her humor, her beauty, her 'child's sense of wonderment,' her relationship with her daughters and her concern for others. Trillin's 12-page 'Alice, Off the Page' was published earlier this year in the New Yorker, and his expansion of his original essay into this touching tribute is certain to stir emotions." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A happy marriage requires compromise. For the journalist, food writer and humorist Calvin Trillin, that meant adhering to his wife's short set of rules:

'Any money not spent on a luxury you can't afford is the equivalent of windfall income.'

'If your child is in a school play ... go to every performance, including the special Thursday matinee for the fourth grade' (otherwise,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"If Trillin is remembered years from now, Alice will be too. A small book that betokens a deep, undimmed affection." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[H]er life bore witness to a profound and encompassing embrace of the meaning of love, which Trillin documents in vivid anecdotes." Booklist

Review:

"Although it's impossible to read this book without aching over the depth of Trillin's loss...for the most part this is simply a warm and gentle tale." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"[A] short and sweet elegy." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"About Alice is so suffused with love that readers may want to give its as a wedding present with the note, 'This is how it's done.'" Newsday

Review:

"A quick and moving read...a primer on how fleeting, wonderful, cruel and ultimately worthwhile life can be, all at once." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Yes, this is a glowing portrait. Even the faults that Trillin ascribes to Alice are the right kind of faults....But I don't think Trillin is out to portray Alice as a saint. Rather, he is trying, and largely succeeding, in doing something lyrical: capturing the essence of Alice." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Review:

"In a book replete with anecdotes, Calvin captures Alice's sparkle and spunk." Hartford Courant

Review:

"The prose of Calvin Trillin, witty and light as gossamer, has been harnessed to a sorrow profound enough for Dostoyevsky." Miami Herald

Synopsis:

In Calvin Trillins antic tales of family life, she was portrayed as the wife who had “a weird predilection for limiting our family to three meals a day” and the mother who thought that if you didnt go to every performance of your childs school play, “the county would come and take the child.” Now, five years after her death, her husband offers this loving portrait of Alice Trillin off the page-his loving portrait of Alice Trillin off the page-an educator who was equally at home teaching at a university or a drug treatment center, a gifted writer, a stunningly beautiful and thoroughly engaged woman who, in the words of a friend, “managed to navigate the tricky waters between living a life you could be proud of and still delighting in the many things there are to take pleasure in.”

Though it deals with devastating loss, About Alice is also a love story, chronicling a romance that began at a Manhattan party when Calvin Trillin desperately tried to impress a young woman who “seemed to glow.”

“You have never again been as funny as you were that night,” Alice would say, twenty or thirty years later.

“You mean I peaked in December of 1963?”

“Im afraid so.”

But he never quit trying to impress her. In his writing, she was sometimes his subject and always his muse. The dedication of the first book he published after her death read, “I wrote this for Alice. Actually, I wrote everything for Alice.”

In that spirit, Calvin Trillin has, with About Alice, created a gift to the wife he adored and to his readers.

About the Author

Calvin Trillin has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1963. He lives in New York.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

karenlibrarian, January 22, 2011 (view all comments by karenlibrarian)
Short and not exactly bittersweet, but maybe rueful. Trillin paints, in about 75 pages, a portrait of the woman behind the wife in his many books. Alice was a larger-than-life person with talents and flaws, like everyone we love. This is a beautiful little book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
melinda_ackles, December 8, 2008 (view all comments by melinda_ackles)
A moving collection of memoirs about his deceased wife, Calvin Trillin's About Alice is sure to bring a tear to your eye. And yet, this small book will also make you smile once you realize just how much Calvin loved Alice.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
gail lindekugel, February 18, 2007 (view all comments by gail lindekugel)
Over the years we have traveled and tasted with Alice in Calvin Trillin's tales. I always pictured her as a bit frumpy, well loved, but a sensible mom above all. How wrong I was. Alice, who died on September 11, 2001 of heart failure, was a stunning, elegant AND sensible lady.
About Alice completes the picture of an amazing marriage, an interesting and accomplished woman and the family who loves her. This book is slender but deep in beautiful content, I made myself read it over the course of several days because I didn't want the story to end.
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(12 of 20 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400066155
Author:
Trillin, Calvin
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Trillin, Calvin
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Cancer
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Authors, American
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Authors, American -- 20th century.
Subject:
Cancer -- Patients.
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20061231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
96
Dimensions:
8.17x5.59x.56 in. .50 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Journalism » General
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists

About Alice Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 96 pages Random House - English 9781400066155 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Trillin (A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme), a staff writer with the New Yorker since 1963, has often written about the members of his family, notably his wife, Alice, whom he married in 1965. A graduate of Wellesley and Yale, she was a writer and educator who survived a 1976 battle with lung cancer. In 1981, she founded a TV production company, Learning Designs, producing PBS's Behind the Scenes to teach children creative thinking; her book Dear Bruno (1996) was intended to reassure children who had cancer. A weakened heart due to radiation treatments led to her death on September 11, 2001, at age 63. Avoiding expressions of grief, Trillin unveils a straightforward, honest portrait of their marriage and family life in this slim volume, opening with the suggestion that he had previously mischaracterized Alice when he wrote her into 'stories that were essentially sitcoms.' Looking back on their first encounter, he then focuses on her humor, her beauty, her 'child's sense of wonderment,' her relationship with her daughters and her concern for others. Trillin's 12-page 'Alice, Off the Page' was published earlier this year in the New Yorker, and his expansion of his original essay into this touching tribute is certain to stir emotions." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Trillin (A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme), a staff writer with the New Yorker since 1963, has often written about the members of his family, notably his wife, Alice, whom he married in 1965. A graduate of Wellesley and Yale, she was a writer and educator who survived a 1976 battle with lung cancer. In 1981, she founded a TV production company, Learning Designs, producing PBS's Behind the Scenes to teach children creative thinking; her book Dear Bruno (1996) was intended to reassure children who had cancer. A weakened heart due to radiation treatments led to her death on September 11, 2001, at age 63. Avoiding expressions of grief, Trillin unveils a straightforward, honest portrait of their marriage and family life in this slim volume, opening with the suggestion that he had previously mischaracterized Alice when he wrote her into 'stories that were essentially sitcoms.' Looking back on their first encounter, he then focuses on her humor, her beauty, her 'child's sense of wonderment,' her relationship with her daughters and her concern for others. Trillin's 12-page 'Alice, Off the Page' was published earlier this year in the New Yorker, and his expansion of his original essay into this touching tribute is certain to stir emotions." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "About Alice, Calvin Trillin's moving tribute to his wife of almost 40 years, is a slender volume that packs a hefty punch. Anyone who wants to know what it might be like to love the same person for most of a lifetime has only to pick up this little book to find out." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "If Trillin is remembered years from now, Alice will be too. A small book that betokens a deep, undimmed affection."
"Review" by , "[H]er life bore witness to a profound and encompassing embrace of the meaning of love, which Trillin documents in vivid anecdotes."
"Review" by , "Although it's impossible to read this book without aching over the depth of Trillin's loss...for the most part this is simply a warm and gentle tale."
"Review" by , "[A] short and sweet elegy."
"Review" by , "About Alice is so suffused with love that readers may want to give its as a wedding present with the note, 'This is how it's done.'"
"Review" by , "A quick and moving read...a primer on how fleeting, wonderful, cruel and ultimately worthwhile life can be, all at once."
"Review" by , "Yes, this is a glowing portrait. Even the faults that Trillin ascribes to Alice are the right kind of faults....But I don't think Trillin is out to portray Alice as a saint. Rather, he is trying, and largely succeeding, in doing something lyrical: capturing the essence of Alice."
"Review" by , "In a book replete with anecdotes, Calvin captures Alice's sparkle and spunk."
"Review" by , "The prose of Calvin Trillin, witty and light as gossamer, has been harnessed to a sorrow profound enough for Dostoyevsky."
"Synopsis" by , In Calvin Trillins antic tales of family life, she was portrayed as the wife who had “a weird predilection for limiting our family to three meals a day” and the mother who thought that if you didnt go to every performance of your childs school play, “the county would come and take the child.” Now, five years after her death, her husband offers this loving portrait of Alice Trillin off the page-his loving portrait of Alice Trillin off the page-an educator who was equally at home teaching at a university or a drug treatment center, a gifted writer, a stunningly beautiful and thoroughly engaged woman who, in the words of a friend, “managed to navigate the tricky waters between living a life you could be proud of and still delighting in the many things there are to take pleasure in.”

Though it deals with devastating loss, About Alice is also a love story, chronicling a romance that began at a Manhattan party when Calvin Trillin desperately tried to impress a young woman who “seemed to glow.”

“You have never again been as funny as you were that night,” Alice would say, twenty or thirty years later.

“You mean I peaked in December of 1963?”

“Im afraid so.”

But he never quit trying to impress her. In his writing, she was sometimes his subject and always his muse. The dedication of the first book he published after her death read, “I wrote this for Alice. Actually, I wrote everything for Alice.”

In that spirit, Calvin Trillin has, with About Alice, created a gift to the wife he adored and to his readers.

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