Thursday, April 02, 2009

Book: About Alice

I almost forgot that I read this slender little volume. It was last month's book club pick, and was a super-short spree about Calvin Trillin's adored wife, Alice.

I don't know Calvin Trillin's writing, although I think he's a New Yorker contributor? I don't know. Anyway, I liked what I read here, what little there was to read. It made me want to read more of his work.

There's not much to say, except that it's about Alice, his wife, and is more a character portrait than anything.

It certainly engendered a lively discussion, however, about the effects our parents (and mothers in particular) have on us, and what it means to be a strong, but feminine, opinionated woman, and whether that means you are a bitch or not. As my friend Nicki put it, "I found myself wishing that I were more like Alice, but then also wondering if that would really be a good thing."

My take is that I think it's wonderful for women to express their femininity AND their opinions, as long as you are also kind. I mean, you don't HAVE to be kind, but I think it's an important quality in every person. I, myself, love dressing up (although I rarely do it fully) and think there are few more wonderful things than a well-dressed, smart, wicked-sharp woman who is not afraid to say what she thinks.

And that's what I think. (sadly, am not dressed up at all at the moment. But picture me in Dior with red lipstick!)


Tammie said...

i read this last year and was left wishing i had known alice. but i also think that maybe she was too perfect. possibly, calvin trillin chose to remember and write about alice in the best possible light? not that that's a bad thing.....just wondered if it was the case in this instance.

maybe im just too negative and cynical...

Miss D. said...

Yes, Tammie, that's it. You are just too negative and cynical. Just kidding! I think I might have to track down some essays he wrote to get a better picture of Alice. Then again, this book seems to have been kind of a memoriam, and those generally tend to put people in their best light...