This Week in Words – August 11

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

David Rakoff passed away this week at the age of 47, succumbing to a cancer that he had been battling since the age of 22. Rakoff was a famously angry comic writer, probably best known for his work on This American Life. His legacy remains on his contributor page. Listen to all of it.

Billy Crystal is writing a book about aging. I happen to love Billy Crystal so I’m sure it’ll be plenty funny. Is it just me, though, or does it seem like every comedic celebrity over the age of 65 has written a book about aging?

The New Yorker revisited a 1995 story in which six prominent writers were asked to name what they considered “literature’s great unmade movies.” I’m inclined to agree with E. L. Doctorow on this one: “You ought to ask a different question: What film would they like to see validated with a major novel?”

I like Huff Po as much as the next person, but after scrolling through this slideshow of so-called lit-inspired dresses, I’m convinced no one on their staff has actually read these books. My favorite disaster? The dress inspired by The Scarlet Letter which is guaranteed to help you “make a statement — without wearing a big scarlet letter ‘A’.” In the words of Managing Editor Glaub: Eurgh.

Oh, and there’s also this: Yikes.