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Don Swaim Interviews

Audio Interviews with Calvin Trillin

Calvin Trillin talks with Don Swaim in this 1983 interview. Trillin begins this first interview by explaining the "horror of being old enough to know people in charge of things." The pair go on to talk about Trillin's life, how he works and where he writes. Trillin worked as a reporter for Time magazine, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and knows most of the ins and outs of East Coast cuisine.

Listen to the Calvin Trillin interview with Don Swaim, April 4, 1983, RealAudio
(39 min. 54 sec.)

MP3 File (1983)

Trillin talks with Don Swaim about his career as a novelist outside of the realm of journalism and cuisine. As a journalist, he found himself naturally drawn to stories of crime and murder. He believes people today have a fixation on violence in our society. They also discuss the reasons why today's culture has embraced and almost nurtured the amount of violence in our lives, whether it is on the street or on TV.

Listen to the Calvin Trillin interview with Don Swaim, January 23, 1984, RealAudio
(34 min. 50 sec.)

MP3 File (1984)

Trillin and Swaim talk about Trillin's work in journalism. Trillin discusses his experiences with The Nation and the magazine's liberal content, which has lead some people to call it a "Pinko" publication. Trillin also divulges his thrifty reasoning for buying a tuxedo, which as he explains gets cheaper every time he wears it. The interview concludes with Swaim and Trillin comparing their similar midwestern backgrounds

.Listen to the Calvin Trillin interview with Don Swaim, May 28, 1985, RealAudio
(30 min. 36 sec.)

MP3 File (1985)

Calvin Trillin and Don start this interview discussing the atmosphere and offices at The New Yorker as well as Trillin's staff writer position with the magazine. He discusses growing up in Kansas City, his parents, attending Yale where he graduated with an English degree and how he fell into writing. Trillin discusses his book If You Can't Say Something Nice, which is a collection of his columns from The Nation and The New Yorker.

Listen to the Calvin Trillin interview with Don Swaim, November 17, 1987, RealAudio
(45 min. 50 sec.)

MP3 File (1987)

In this 1989 interview with Don Swaim, Calvin Trillin talks about his book,Travels with Alice. Alice is his wife. The book depicts the travels with his family as a youth, his begging of his father to visit every zoo along the way, and the quarrels with his sister in the back seat.

Listen to the Calvin Trillin interview with Don Swaim, November 5, 1989, RealAudio
(30 min. 27 sec.)

MP3 File (1989)

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Redistribution is not permitted.


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For many years most of the best writers of the English language found their way to Don Swaim's CBS Radio studio in New York. Wired for Books is proud to webcast these interviews in RealAudio.

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