Originally published in The New Yorker in abbreviated form, About Alice, Calvin Trillin's elegy to his late wife is perhaps his most generous love letter yet. As he writes, ''People whose exposure to her had been through my stories didn't know her...but they knew how I felt about her.'' Here, Trillin steps aside, allowing Alice to expand beyond the construct of an adored character. What emerges is a portrait of a wry, devoted woman, a respected writer who willingly sat on the sidelines. Perhaps she knew that readers would one day have the chance to see her not only as a supporting character but as a star.