Walter Kirn is a novelist, essayist, and critic who lives in Livingston, Montana. His works of fiction include Mission To America, Thumbsucker (which was adapted into a feature film starring Keanu Reaves and Vince Vaughn in 2005), and Up In The Air (which will begin filming later this year under the direction of Jason Reitman, the director of Juno and Thank You For Smoking). A frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, and Slate, he has served as a contributing editor to Time Magazine and as the literary editor of GQ. His nonfiction articles and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Esquire.
His next book, Lost In The Meritocracy, a scathing memoir of his years at Princeton and Oxford, first appeared in The Atlantic and will be published by Doubleday as a book in the spring of 2009.
Kirn has previously taught nonfiction writing at the University of Montana.
Recorded Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at University of Chicago.