HOME

Trillin

Calvin Trillin is a 66-year-old writer, a widely published humourist based in New York but spends half of each year in Port Medway, Queens County, where he has a 46-acre property.
For years, he was on the staff of the New Yorker Magazine, churning out 3,000 word pieces on a regular basis.
He has written for Time Magazine.
He is a syndicated columnist.
He is the author of numerous books, available for reading from South Shore Regional Library if you can't find them in a bookstore.
He is a professional speaker.
And, if you use a search engine such as Yahoo, and type in Calvin+Trillin+Nova+Scotia, you'll find out plenty about his life and writing.
Type in "Calvin Trillin" only and you could spend days sifting through the sites with information and reviews.
A great deal of Trillin's work is done in Port Medway.
When CBS did a feature on "America's Vacation Famine" they talked about how vacations are getting shorter and shorter, and that today's technology has blurred the line between work and worse.
"It's kind of an entangling web, right now, of technology, that everybody wants to be connected, "a magazine editor said "but at the same time, how do we disconnect?"
"And that's what we really have to be asking ourselves right now, and setting clear lines between what is the work place and what is my life."
The item went on to say that if anybody has managed to get the balance right, it's Calvin Trillin. For the past 30 years, he and his family have packed up and gone to Nova Scotia--not for a week, but for the entire summer.
What is a vacation, to him?
"Well, of course, as a writer, it's sort of hard to tell," Trillim replied.
"Either we're always on vacation, or we're never on vacation, depending on how you look at it."
Trillin feels no compulsion whatsoever to stay in touch. Neither does his wife, writer Alice Trillin.
"My wife basically reads books," explains Trillin. "She reads a lot."
"And her big change sometimes in the day is changing from the porch to the bedroom to the boathouse," he says, adding that it's all reading, just different chairs.
In fact, work gets done. Trillin has written books there. He has weekly deadlines, but technology now allows him to have his vacation attitude and keep it, too.
"There have been summers when I've gotten a lot done here, and summers where I really haven't gotten very much done," says Trillin. "But I don't feel terribly guilty."
When Trillin was interviewed by Mark Bazer in August of 1998 when his book, Family Man, was released, Bazer had this to say:
"The frustrating part is choosing what you want to ask this writer who's done it all. For years Trillin was a roving reporter for the New Yorker, writing the
'U.S. Journal' pieces. He's written a humor column for the Nation, now in the form of a poem (he once rhymed "Senator D'Amato" with "sleaze ball obligatto"). He's tackled a more weighty subject in the probing Remembering Denny, in which he tries to understand why a multitalented former Yale classmate committed suicide. And if you get Trillin started on food--he's written three books on this nation's cuisine, now combined into one volume, The Tummy Trilogy---he could probably go on for hours.
Along with his regular column for Time, the occasional reporting piece, and his columns in the new Brill's Content, Trillin has also written his version of the memoir. Following the success of Messages From My Father comes Family Man, which takes us through the joys of family life with his wife (George Burns to his Gracie Allen, as he likes to say) and two daughters. Even when he's marching through the streets of Greenwich Village in a monster mask, or telling his daughters he deserves "full credit" for making the corn flakes, it's always understood that what's happening is important. Trillin never comes across as preachy--for him, it's all a matter of love and common sense. "Your children are either the center of your life or they're not, and the rest is commentary," he writes.
I talked to Trillin on the phone from his summer home in Nova Scotia, where he used to shoot family movies with his daughters. Now there's a sense that he anxiously waits for that future day when he'll be able to dust off the camera for grandchildren.
(for the complete interview, Trillin At Home,  by Mark Bazer, click here.)

LINKS: Biographies
http://past.thenation.com/cgi-bin/framizer.cgi?url=http://past.thenatio n.com/about/magazine/bios/trillin.shtml
 
http://www.kepplerassociates.com/trillin.htm
 

[A - Z] [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [Trillin] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]