The old poet and the radios

While the girls were hanging out in Golden Gai last night, I was picked up by William Elliott and Kazui Kawamura, the English translators of the poet Shuntaro Tanikawa and taken to an undisclosed location to meet the poet himself. I had met Tanikawa in Copenhagen 10 years ago and immediately liked him and his […]

Kurt, Pico, and Bambi

360 Book Club: The Tale of Genji

360 Staff Pick: Get Lit

The World

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Kurt wins Deadline Club award

Kurt’s Vanity Fair article on the new era of Beijing architecture, ‘From Mao to Wow,’ just won a Deadline Club Award for best Arts Reporting. Lucky for us, he did a radio version of the piece, too. Listen here.

Gay Flag Controversy in Paper Magazine

Our gay pride flag redesign challenge drew lots of great listener entries — and no small amount of criticism (see here and here). Yesterday, Papermag ran an interview with Kurt about …

Infinite Summer

This weekon Studio 360 we take a look at F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classicThe Great Gatsby. We might not like to admit it, but Gatsby’s popularity–and its iconic status–has more than a little to do with length. It’s short (a brilliantly compact 182 pages), easily finished in a weekend. Not so the late novelist David […]


Remember Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Kurt sat down with the up-and-coming Nigerian writer last December – on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Things Fall Apart – to ask how it felt being called the “21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her answer? Pretty good. Now Adichie’s come out with a wonderful new collection of short […]

Compendious philological volumes

Forsooth, the next item on our reference-book most-wanted list this fall is going to be the new Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, due out in October. Forty-four years in the making, this puppy’s got 800,000 words (‘almost every word,’ they claim, from Old English to the present)–that’s more than double the size of […]