Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quite Enough

There are no pictures in it. But the memories it will raise in your mind, especially if you’ve ever seen the author, will be more than enough.
I’m talking, of course about the latest collection of essays and rhyme from Calvin Trillin. The book quite fittingly, is called “Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin.”

This is one of those books that I bought to give to someone else for Christmas but planned to read myself before wrapping it. I never got around to that, so I was tickled when someone bought the book for me for Christmas.
If there’s a modern writer who more than anyone else deserves to be dubbed the Mark Twain of our time, it has to be Trillin. He’s long been a staff writer about food and American culture at The New Yorker and considers himself America’s only “deadline poet” for his regular contributions to The Nation. His books are many; I was first introduced to Trillin in Alice, Let’s Eat. Later on he described the lessons of his Kansas City upbringing in Messages from My Father and the lost potential of a “most likely to succeed” college classmate in Remembering Denny. In About Alice, written just after the death of his wife, Trillin told the sweetest story of love and marriage I’ve ever read.
You can’t—or at least I can’t—read Trillin without chuckling, and who couldn’t use a few chuckles every day? There have been other collections of Trillin’s writing through the years. (The Administration of George W. Bush alone, for example, yielded a bumper crop of columns and poetry.) But at least for now, Quite Enough is the best of the best.

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