David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.
A host of talented narrators and actors-including television actors John Krasinski and Christopher Meloni-deliver nuanced performances of the late Wallace's classic. But it's the author himself who steals the show: his gentle, almost dreamy voice unlocks the elaborate syntax and releases the immense feeling concealed by the comedy and labyrinthine sentences. While the various narrators ably capture the essence of the text, Wallace's renditions of such stories as "Forever Overhead" and "Death Is Not the End" are transcendent. Essential listening for Wallace fans and a fine introduction for newcomers. A Little, Brown hardcover. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Stories, character sketches, monologs, and conversations selected from the late Wallace's (www.davidfosterwallace.com) exquisitely written 1999 collection are here read by a cast including the author and 14 actors featured in John Krasinski's 2009 film adaptation of the work. Many of the characters, such as the cad who dumps a woman he has lured across the country, are despicable; others-e.g., a gang-rape survivor, a men's room attendant-are captured by hideous circumstances. Language and situations are sometimes graphic. The performances, including that by the author, are exceptional. Recommended for literary fiction and creative writing collections. ["Fans of Thomas Pynchon and Donald Barthelme will find comparable challenges here," read the review of the Little, Brown hc, LJ 5/1/99.-Ed.]-Janet Martin, Southern Pines P.L., NC Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.