Ben Stiller has taken on the fashion and film worlds before, but his next directorial effort is literary. The new trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, based on the 1939 James Thurber short story, is more Michel Gondry than Derek Zoolander.
USA Today is running an excerpt of Denis Johnson’s much buzzed about new doorstop Tree of Smoke.The New Yorker Food Issue, to my mind the highlight of the New Yorker publishing year, has arrived. Somehow I look forward to this one as much as I did the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue when I was twelve. Much of the good stuff isn’t online, but you can get a taste of the food writing on offer with a series of short essays under theme “Family Dinner.” Aleksandar Hemon, Gary Shteyngart, Nell Freudenberger, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, David Sedaris, Anthony Lane, and Donald Antrim are on the menu.
Do people still need to study the humanities? You’d think the answer is “yes, of course,” but the issue is far more complicated than that. In a bid to sort it out, The New Republic recently asked a group of former university presidents to give their viewpoints on the matter. Sample quote: “Humanities faculty have too often conspired well.” Pair with: our own Nick Ripatrazone on coming to writing from outside the humanities.
“The night of the typhoon, the sky was full, the world destroyed.” Eleanor Goodman is one of 13 translators who won the PEN/Heim Translation Fund this year. Goodman won for her translation of Chinese poet Wang Xiaoni’s collection, Something Crosses My Mind, which will be published by Zephyr Press.