Messages from My Father: A Memoir

Calvin Trillin (Author)


Calvin Trillin, the celebrated New Yorker writer, offers a rich and engaging biography of his father, as well as a literate and entertaining fanfare for the common (and decent, and hard-working) man.

Abe Trillin had the western Missouri accent of someone who had grown up in St. Joseph and the dreams of America of someone who had been born is Russia. In Kansas City, he was a grocer, at least until he swore off the grocery business. He was given to swearing off things--coffee, tobacco, alcohol, all neckties that were not yellow in color. Presumably he had also sworn off swearing, although he was a collector of curses, such as "May you have an injury that is not covered by workman's compensation." Although he had a strong vision of the sort of person he wanted his son to be, his explicit advice about how to behave didn't go beyond an almost lackadaisical "You might as well be a mensch." Somehow, though, Abe Trillin's messages got through clearly.

The author's unerring sense of the American character is everywhere apparent in this quietly powerful memoir, Messages from My Father.

Product Details

$15.00  $13.80
Farrar, Strauss & Giroux-3pl
Publish Date
June 12, 1997
5.4 X 0.4 X 8.4 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Calvin Trillin has been writing for The New Yorker for over 30 years. His many books include Tepper Isn't Going Out, Travels with Alice, Remembering Denny, Family Man, The Tummy Trilogy, Deadline Poet, and Too Soon To Tell.


"A sensitive, affectionate portrait . . . Thirty years after his death, Abe Trilinsky, mild-mannered Midwestern grocer, still looms large for his son." --The New York Times Book Review

"[This] gentle, straightforward book about love for a father is also about the way a father's life and words continue to influence a child's life and words, even after the father is gone and the child himself is a father . . . Abe [Trillin] would be proud." --The Washington Post