Walter Kirn

Last updated
Walter Kirn
Walter Kirn on The Virtual Memories Show.jpg
Kirn on March 1, 2015
Born
Walter Norris Kirn

(1962-08-03) August 3, 1962 (age 61)
Education Princeton University (AB)
Oxford University
Occupations
  • Novelist
  • literary critic
  • essayist
Notable work Up in the Air
Spouse(s)Penelope Locke (divorced)
Maggie McGuane (divorced)
Amanda Fortini
Children2
Website walterkirn.com/

Walter Norris Kirn (born August 3, 1962) [1] is an American novelist, literary critic, and essayist. He is the author of eight books, most notably Up in the Air , which was made into a film of the same name starring George Clooney.

Contents

Education

Kirn graduated with an A.B. in English from Princeton University in 1983 after completing a 22-page-long senior thesis entitled "Entangling Breaths (Poems)." [2] Following that, he obtained a second undergraduate degree in English Literature at Oxford University, where he was a Keasbey Memorial Foundation Scholar. [3]

Writing

Kirn has published a collection of short stories and several novels. These include Thumbsucker (1999), which was made into a 2005 film featuring Keanu Reeves and Vince Vaughn. Kirn's 2001 novel, Up in the Air , has been characterized as a literary chronotope relating to the genre of road narratives. [4] It was made into a 2009 film directed by Jason Reitman. The film adaptation of Up In The Air, which starred George Clooney and Anna Kendrick, was a commercial success and went on to receive critical acclaim as well as numerous nominations and awards.

In 2005, Kirn took over blogger Andrew Sullivan's publication while Sullivan was on vacation. He also wrote The Unbinding, an Internet-only novel that was published in Slate magazine. [5]

Kirn's 2013 memoir Blood Will Out , is an account of his relationship with the convicted murderer and imposter Christian Gerhartsreiter, who had initially approached Kirn using the alias of "Clark Rockefeller".

He has also reviewed books for New York Magazine and has written for The New York Times Book Review, New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Atlantic and Spy, and is a contributing editor of Time , where he has received popularity for his entertaining and sometimes humorous first-person essays among other articles of interest. He also served as an American cultural correspondent for the BBC.

In 2023, Kirn and David Samuels launched County Highway, a magazine about America in the form of a nineteenth-century newspaper, and as America's only newspaper. Donald Rosenfeld is the publisher.

Teaching

In addition to teaching nonfiction writing at the University of Montana, Kirn was the 2008–09 Vare Nonfiction Writer in Residence at the University of Chicago. [6]

Media

Kirn appears on the weekly podcast, America This Week with Matt Taibbi. He is a weekly regular panelist on Gutfeld! .

Personal life

Kirn was born in Akron, Ohio, but grew up in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. After high school, he attended Macalester College for one year before transferring to Princeton University. [7] Kirn's family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was twelve, but Kirn is no longer affiliated with the church. [8] In 1995, Kirn married Maggie McGuane, daughter of actress Margot Kidder and novelist Thomas McGuane. Kirn was 32 at the time; McGuane was 19. [9] The couple had two children but have since divorced. [10] Kirn is now married to magazine writer Amanda Fortini. The two split their time between Livingston, Montana and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Books

Fiction

Novels

Short fiction collections

  • My Hard Bargain: Stories (1990) [11]

Nonfiction

Filmography

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nicholas Lemann</span> American writer and academic

Nicholas Berthelot Lemann is an American writer and academic, and is the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism and Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999. Lemann was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2022.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Harrison</span> American poet, novelist, and essayist (1937 – 2016)

James Harrison was an American poet, novelist, and essayist. He was a prolific and versatile writer publishing over three dozen books in several genres including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, and memoir. He wrote screenplays, book reviews, literary criticism, and published essays on food, travel, and sport. Harrison indicated that, of all his writing, his poetry meant the most to him.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Murray (publishing house)</span> English publishing firm (est. 1768)

John Murray is a Scottish publisher, known for the authors it has published in its long history including Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Byron, Charles Lyell, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Herman Melville, Edward Whymper, Thomas Robert Malthus, David Ricardo, and Charles Darwin. Since 2004, it has been owned by conglomerate Lagardère under the Hachette UK brand.

<i>Cosmopolis</i> (novel) Novel by Don DeLillo

Cosmopolis is a novel by American writer Don DeLillo. His thirteenth novel, it was published by Scribner on April 14, 2003.

Douglas Jerome Preston is an American journalist and author. Although he is best known for his thrillers in collaboration with Lincoln Child, he has also written six solo novels, including the Wyman Ford series and a novel entitled Jennie, which was made into a movie by Disney. He has authored a half-dozen nonfiction books on science and exploration and writes occasionally for The New Yorker, Smithsonian, and other magazines.

Thumbsucker or thumb sucking may refer to:

<i>Good Night, and Good Luck</i> 2005 historical drama film

Good Night, and Good Luck is a 2005 historical drama film about American television news directed by George Clooney, with the movie starring David Strathairn, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr., and Frank Langella as well as Clooney himself. The film was co-written by Clooney and Grant Heslov, and it portrays the conflict between veteran journalist Edward R. Murrow (Strathairn) and U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, especially relating to the anti-communist Senator's actions with the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas McGuane</span> American writer (born 1939)

Thomas Francis McGuane III is an American writer. His work includes ten novels, short fiction and screenplays, as well as three collections of essays devoted to his life in the outdoors. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Cutting Horse Association Members Hall of Fame and the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. McGuane's papers, manuscripts, and correspondence are located in the Montana State University Archives and Special Collections and are available for research use. In 2023, he was given the first Award for Excellence in Service to the MSU Library for the advancement of scholarship and access to unique materials.

Richard Price is an American novelist and screenwriter, known for the books The Wanderers (1974), Clockers (1992) and Lush Life (2008). Price's novels explore late-20th-century urban America in a gritty, realistic manner that has brought him considerable literary acclaim. Several of his novels are set in a fictional northern New Jersey city called Dempsy.

<i>Thumbsucker</i> (novel) 1999 novel by Walter Kirn

Thumbsucker is a 1999 novel by Walter Kirn. It was adapted into a film of the same name by Mike Mills in 2005.

<i>Thumbsucker</i> (film) 2005 American film

Thumbsucker is a 2005 American independent comedy-drama film written and directed by Mike Mills in his feature directorial debut. The film stars Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kelli Garner, Benjamin Bratt, Vince Vaughn, and Keanu Reeves. The plot focuses on Justin Cobb, a teenager in suburban Oregon, as he copes with his thumb-sucking problem, romance, and his diagnosis with ADHD and subsequent experience using Ritalin. The screenplay was adapted from the 1999 Walter Kirn novel of the same name. Swinton also served as an executive producer.

Robert Daley is an American writer, journalist, and former New York City Police Department officer. He is the author of 31 books, six of which have been adapted for film, and a hundred or so magazine articles and stories.

Gerald Jay Goldberg was an American author. He was a professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught English and American literature and Creative Writing. An acclaimed novelist, he was also a critic and the author of a nonfiction study of the network news and a biography of Ted Turner.

<i>Up in the Air</i> (novel) 2001 novel by American author Walter Kirn

Up in the Air is a 2001 novel by American author Walter Kirn. It was adapted into the 2009 feature film of the same name starring George Clooney.

<i>Up in the Air</i> (2009 film) 2009 romantic -comedy-drama film by Jason Reitman

Up in the Air is a 2009 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman. It was written by Reitman and Sheldon Turner, based on the 2001 novel Up in the Air by Walter Kirn. The story is centered on traveling corporate "downsizer" Ryan Bingham. Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and Jason Bateman also star. Up in the Air was primarily filmed in St. Louis with additional scenes shot in Detroit, Omaha, Las Vegas, and Miami.

<i>Lost in the Meritocracy</i> 2009 memoir by Walter Kirn

Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever is a 2009 memoir by Walter Kirn. It describes his own trip through the American education system from rural Minnesota to Princeton University.

Up in the Air may refer to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Attila Hazai</span> Hungarian writer (1967–2012)

Attila Hazai was a popular Hungarian writer. He is best known for his local version of American Psycho called Budapesti skizo (1997). At the time of his death, none of his works had been translated into English.

<i>The Boys in the Boat</i> Book by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is a non-fiction novel written by Daniel James Brown and published on June 4, 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Daniel James Brown</span> American author

Daniel James Brown is an American author of narrative nonfiction books.

References

  1. "Walter Kirn". Mormon Literature Database. Brigham Young University. c. 2003. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  2. Kirn, Walter Norris (1983). "Entangling Breaths (Poems)".{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. "Walter Kirn" . Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  4. Hansen, Julie. "Space, time, and plane travel in Walter Kirn's novel up in the air." Nordic Journal of English Studies, vol. 11, no. 3, Sept. 2012, pp. 18+
  5. "The Unbinding: An exclusive Slate novel. By Walter Kim". Slate. 13 March 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-22.
  6. Coming This Fall: Walter Kirn
  7. Kirn, Walter (2005-01-05). "Lost in the Meritocracy". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  8. NPR: Writer Walter Kirn, on a 'Mission to America'
  9. Brozan, Nadine (1995-08-16). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  10. - Walter Kirn Author, "Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever"]
  11. Kirn, Walter (1990). My Hard Bargain: Stories. New York: Knopf.