For at least forty years, Calvin Trillin has committed blatant acts of funniness all over the place—in The New Yorker, in one-man off-Broadway shows, in his “deadline poetry” for The Nation, in comic novels like Tepper Isn’t Going Out, in books chronicling his adventures as a happy eater, and in the column USA Today called “simply the funniest regular column in journalism.” Now Trillin selects the best of his funny stuff and organizes it into topics like high finance (“My long-term investment strategy has been criticized as being entirely too dependent on Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes”) and the literary life (“The average shelf life of a book is somewhere between milk and yogurt.”) In Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin, the author deals with such subjects as the horrors of witnessing a voodoo economics ceremony and the mystery of how his mother managed for thirty years to feed her family nothing but leftovers (“We have a team of anthropologists in there now looking for the original meal”) and the true story behind the Shoe Bomber: “The one terrorist in England with a sense of humor, a man known as Khalid the Droll, had said to the cell, ‘I bet I can get them all to take off their shoes in airports.’ ” He remembers Sarah Palin with a poem called “On a Clear Day, I See Vladivostok” and John Edwards with one called “Yes, I Know He’s a Mill Worker’s Son, but There’s Hollywood in That Hair.” In this, the definitive collection of his humor, Calvin Trillin is prescient, insightful, and invariably hilarious.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Calvin Trillin's Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin. “Trillin is our funniest food writer. He writes with charm, freedom, and a rare respect for language.” –New York magazine In this delightful and delicious book, Calvin Trillin, guided by an insatiable appetite, embarks on a hilarious odyssey in search of “something decent to eat.” Across time zones and cultures, and often with his wife, Alice, at his side, Trillin shares his triumphs in the art of culinary discovery, including Dungeness crabs in California, barbecued mutton in Kentucky, potato latkes in London, blaff d’oursins in Martinique, and a $33 picnic on a no-frills flight to Miami. His eating companions include Fats Goldberg, the New York pizza baron and reformed blimp; William Edgett Smith, the man with the Naughahyde palate; and his six-year-old daughter, Sarah, who refuses to enter a Chinese restaurant unless she is carrying a bagel (“just in case”). And though Alice “has a weird predilection for limiting our family to three meals a day,” on the road she proves to be a serious eater–despite “seemingly uncontrollable attacks of moderation.” Alice, Let Eat amply demonstrates why The New Republic called Calvin Trillin “a classic American humorist.” “One of the most brilliant humorists of our times . . . Trillin is guaranteed good reading.” –Charleston Post and Courier “Read Trillin and laugh out loud.” –Time
The second edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, originally published in September 2004, covers the significant events, inventions, and social movements that have shaped the way Americans view, prepare, and consume food and drink. Entries range across historical periods and the trends that characterize them. The thoroughly updated new edition captures the shifting American perspective on food and is the most authoritative and the most current reference work on American cuisine.
Savoring Local Specialties, from Kansas City to Cuzco
Author: Calvin Trillin
Pubpsher: Random House
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Calvin Trillin's Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin. Calvin Trillin has never been a champion of the “continental cuisine” palaces he used to refer to as La Maison de la Casa House—nor of their successors, the trendy spots he calls “sleepy-time restaurants, where everything is served on a bed of something else.” What he treasures is the superb local specialty. And he will go anywhere to find one. As it happens, some of Trillin’s favorite dishes—pimientos de Padrón in northern Spain, for instance, or pan bagnat in Nice or posole in New Mexico—can’t be found anywhere but in their place of origin. Those dishes are on his Register of Frustration and Deprivation. “On gray afternoons, I go over it,” he writes, “like a miser who is both tantalizing and tormenting himself by poring over a list of people who owe him money.” On brighter afternoons, he calls his travel agent. Trillin shares charming and funny tales of managing to have another go at, say, fried marlin in Barbados or the barbecue of his boyhood in Kansas City. Sometimes he returns with yet another listing for his Register—as when he travels to Ecuador for ceviche, only to encounter fanesca, a soup so difficult to make that it “should appear on an absolutely accurate menu as Potage Labor Intensive.” We join the hunt for the authentic fish taco. We tag along on the “boudin blitzkrieg” in the part of Louisiana where people are accustomed to buying boudin and polishing it off in the parking lot or in their cars (“Cajun boudin not only doesn’t get outside the state, it usually doesn’t even get home”). In New York, we follow Trillin as he roams Queens with the sort of people who argue about where to find the finest Albanian burek and as he tries to use a glorious local specialty, the New York bagel, to lure his daughters back from California (“I understand that in some places out there if you buy a dozen wheat-germ bagels you get your choice of a bee-pollen bagel or a ginseng bagel free”). Feeding a Yen is a delightful reminder of why New York magazine called Calvin Trillin “our funniest food writer.”
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Calvin Trillin's Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin. Murray Tepper would say that he is an ordinary New Yorker who is simply trying to read the newspaper in peace. But he reads while sitting behind the wheel of his parked car, and his car always seems to be in a particularly desirable parking spot. Not surprisingly, he is regularly interrupted by drivers who want to know if he is going out. Tepper isn’t going out. Why not? His explanations tend to be rather literal: the indisputable fact, for instance, that he has twenty minutes left on the meter. Tepper’s behavior sometimes irritates the people who want his spot. (“Is that where you live? Is that car rent-controlled?”) It also irritates the mayor—Frank Ducavelli, known in tabloid headlines as Il Duce—who sees Murray Tepper as a harbinger of what His Honor always calls “the forces of disorder.” But once New Yorkers become aware of Tepper, some of them begin to suspect that he knows something they don’t know. And an ever-increasing number of them are willing to line up for the opportunity to sit in his car with him and find out. Tepper Isn’t Going Out is a wise and witty story of an ordinary man who, perhaps innocently, changes the world around him.