Messages from My Father

by Calvin Trillin

Hardcover, 1996




New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996.


Humorist and essayist Calvin Trillin writes a charming and thoughtful memoir of his father, Abe Trillin, and the family's Jewish Midwestern roots, with much to say about parenthood, adult's memories of childhood, and generational change and continuity.

User reviews

LibraryThing member MusicMom41
Calvin Trillin’s father was born 3 years before my Dad. My father had his child (me) later in life that Abe Trillin had his two, so I am younger than Calvin, but I could really identify with the way Calvin’s father influenced his life and the reasons for this influence. Calvin was Jewish and my family was Presbyterian so the “language” was different but the values were very similar: hard work, integrity, fair play, and following the rules were rigorously taught and enforced. Abe and my Dad also used a similar method of influencing our actions—by suggestion rather than by order. It seemed that we could make up our own minds about things so it we did not feel the need to rebel against the “advice” we were so subtly given. This loving remembrance of his father resonated with me and I think will speak to anyone whose father had a significant impact on his life. I enjoyed getting to know this family and also learning about the immigrant experience of the East European Jews in the 20th century. Highly recommended.… (more)
LibraryThing member GraceZ
Just the kind of memoir I like: short and floaty, almost more a collection of essays about memories and events related to a person, rather than a perfectly-executed, coherent book. I think it's one of the nicest ways to pay tribute to a someone.
LibraryThing member thosgpetri
A moving tribute to a father he obviously loved, and to his family, foibles and all. Great reading! An easy and enjoyable way to while away a few hours.



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