The Lede: Dispatches from a Life in the Press (Hardcover)

The Lede: Dispatches from a Life in the Press By Calvin Trillin Cover Image
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A fascinating portrait of journalism and the people who make it, told through pieces collected from the incomparable six-decade career of bestselling author and longtime New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin

The Lede contains profiles . . . that are acknowledged classics of the form and will be studied until A.I. makes hash out of all of us.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

I’ve been writing about the press almost as long as I’ve been in the game. At some point, it occurred to me that disparate pieces from various places in various styles amounted to a picture from multiple angles of what the press has been like over the years since I became a practitioner and an observer.

Calvin Trillin has reported serious pieces across America for The New Yorker, covered the civil rights movement in the South for Time, and written comic verse for The Nation. But one of his favorite subjects over the years—a superb fit for his unique combination of reportage and humor—has been his own professional environment: the American press.

In The Lede, Trillin gathers his incisive, often hilarious writing on reporting, reporters, and their world. There are pieces on a legendary crime reporter in Miami and on an erudite film critic in Dallas who once a week transformed himself from a connoisseur of the French nouvelle vague into a fan of movies like Mother Riley Meets the Vampire. Trillin writes about the paucity of gossip columns in Russia, the icebreaker he'd use if he met one of his subjects socially (e.g.: “You must be wondering why I referred to you in Time as a dork robot”), and the origins of a publication called Beautiful Spot: A Magazine of Parking.

Uniting all of this is Trillin’s signature combination of empathy, humor, and graceful prose. The Lede is an invaluable portrait of one our fundamental American institutions from a master journalist.

About the Author

Calvin Trillin is a long-time staff writer at The New Yorker. He lives in New York City.

Praise For…

Praise for The Lede

“With wit and understatement, a press veteran reflects on his trade. . . . Trillin’s understatement matters because through it he resolves the traumas of life into humane comedy. . . . This book is buoyant and crunchy from end to end [and] contains profiles . . . that are acknowledged classics of the form and will be studied until A.I. makes hash out of all of us. Trillin can be counted on to hand the world back clearer than it was before he picked it up.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“An invaluable collection of observations about journalism authored by a beloved American reporter and humorist . . . Much of this book is hilarious, and it seems impossible to suppress a grin even when reading essays about the most serious of subjects. . . . [Trillin’s writing mixes] wit, sharp observational powers and recall, reporting skills, and poignancy. This book should be savored by admirers, critics, and practitioners of journalism and journalists, as well as anyone who appreciates first-rate writing, humor, and engaging reporting. A brilliant compilation.”—Kirkus Reviews

“In this collection of short and long pieces culled from more than 50 years of reporting, Trillin presents a clever, wry, piercing, and even poetic love song to journalism and the writers, editors, columnists, and readers who show, with every word, that they are the people’s champions.”—Booklist, starred review

“This entertaining collection . . . showcase[s] Trillin’s intelligence and wit . . . A spirited look at how the news is made.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for the work of Calvin Trillin

“Trillin is perhaps the finest reporter in America.”The Miami Herald

“Trillin may be the funniest columnist in America.”People

“A literary treasure.”The Washington Times
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593596449
ISBN-10: 0593596447
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: February 13th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English