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Happy Birthday, Mr. Trillin

Calvin Trillin turns 72 today...

It's the birthday of the essayist and humorist Calvin Trillin, born in Kansas City, Missouri (1935), who started out working for the religion section of Time magazine, which he did not like. He said, "I finally got out of that by prefixing everything with 'alleged.' I'd write about 'the alleged parting of the Red Sea,' even 'the alleged Crucifixion,' and eventually they let me go."

In 1967, Trillin began writing a regular column for The New Yorker magazine called "U.S. Journal," which he saw as a chance to write about ordinary people who didn't usually get covered in the national press. As a result of traveling so much Trillin began eating in a variety of local restaurants, and at a time when most food writers focused on gourmet food from France, Trillin wrote about barbecue ribs in the Midwest. His first collection of food writing was American Fried: Adventures of a Happy Eater (1974), in which he declared that the top four or five restaurants in the world are in Kansas City. His most recent book is his memoir About Alice (2006).

...and by sheerest coincidence I just started reading Travels With Alice this morning, and I'm really enjoying it so far. Damn, that man can write.

December 5, 2007 in Books | Permalink