David Koepp hasn’t just written a new novel about killer fungus — he’s spent his summer fighting off hostile plants, and he’s got the scars to prove it. “Have you ever heard of Asiatic tearthumb?” he asks, his arms propped up on the table at an Upper West Side eatery, his forearms bearing a criss-cross of bright-red scratches. “It’s native to more southern climates. It was never in New York until Hurricane Sandy. It’s also called ‘mile-a-minute’ because it grows so fast — it can grow six inches in a day.” Koepp has been battling the invasive weed at his summer house in Amagansett. “The roots are horrifying. They’ll run like ten feet sideways through the soil. These —” he says, referencing the scratches, “— are from before I figured out you need to wear long sleeves and long pants.”
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