Ira Glass co-writes movie, talks books

The host of This American Life is branching out. His new movie comes out Aug. 24.

Ira Glass

Ira Glass is best known as the host of the NPR radio show This American Life. The Brown graduate was a Semiotics major (yes, really) and helped write a new movie Sleepwalk with Me.

Glass sat down with the New York Times to discuss his literary likes (and dislikes).

He was asked if he could meet a writer, dead or alive, who would it be?

“Edgar Allan Poe,” Glass said. “I don’t have a question, but dude just seems like he could use a hug.”

The radio host has been dedicated to his show, which started in 1997. Therefore, his reading materials generally have something to do with that show.

“Everything I’m reading right now is homework of one sort or another,” he said. “That’s pretty typical.”

However, when asked what his favorite literary genres are, and if there are any “guilty pleasures,” Glass answered that he doesn’t really believe we should feel guilty about most things we enjoy.

“It’s rare for me to read any fiction. I almost only read nonfiction,” he answered. “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, I only believe in pleasures. People who call reading detective fiction or eating dessert a guilty pleasure make me want to puke.”

Well at least he tells us how he feels. In the same step, Glass gives a somewhat surprising answer when he is asked who is his favorite children’s literary character.

“Hermione. Harry Potter to me is a bore,” Glass answered. “His talent arrives as a gift; he’s chosen. Who can identify with that? But Hermione — she’s working harder than anyone, she’s half outsider, right? Half Muggle. She shouldn’t be there at all. It’s so unfair that Harry’s the star of the books, given how hard she worked to get her powers.”

Glass’s movie Sleepwalk With Me was co-written by Joe Birbiglia, Seth Barrish and Mike Birbiglia, who also plays the main character. According to the Internet Movie Database, the movie is about “A burgeoning stand-up comedian [who] struggles with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore.”

Sleepwalk With Me will be released Aug. 24.

Photo courtesy C.Smith/


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