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-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?"
"I'm afraid so."
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.