A 'paradise' amid the rocks and weeds

Jeffrey Tambor

Earthquakes, elections and more dissected at New Yorker fest

One New Yorker writer summed it up best: The New Yorker festival, said Kathryn Schulz, is the "nerd holiday of New York City."

Schulz was referring to the annual weekend of events that brings out fans of the magazine from all corners of the country, salivating to hear their favorite authors read fiction or their favorite actors discuss their latest film, theater and TV projects. In this 16th year, those notables have included Sigourney Weaver, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeffrey Tambor and Damian Lewis, not to mention music names like Billy Joel and Patti Smith. (Nearly 20,000 people attended this year, from every state except North Dakota, and from 36 countries — including...