David Foster Wallace

14 Stories

The Pulitzer Fiction Debacle: What Really Happened

Juror Michael Cunningham: how they picked those books

(Newser) - All three books were good, but none of them won the Pulitzer Prize. Fiction lovers know the story : David Foster Wallace's The Pale King, Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, and Karen Russell's Swamplandia! were all rejected by this year's Pulitzer Prize Board. Now fiction juror Michael Cunningham... More »

Books We Pretend to Read—But Never Do

The Corrections, Infinite Jest make the New York Times list

(Newser) - So, you've read The Corrections? And Infinite Jest? Yes, me too. And the entire Newser staff also likes them. Because there are certain books we simply lie about, as the New York Times learned during a survey of its own staff. Posted anonymously, the Times list includes:
  • A Confederacy
... More »

The 3 Novels That Almost Won a Pulitzer

David Foster Wallace, Karen Russell, Denis Johnson were considered

(Newser) - For the first time in 35 years, no Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded —but that doesn't mean no works of fiction were considered. The Pulitzer jurors narrowed down the possibilities to three novels … and then the Pulitzer board decided, "after lengthy consideration," not to... More »

Best of 2011 ... So Far

Salon offers up a mid-year list

(Newser) - Now that we're more than halfway through 2011, the Salon staff compiled the best books, movies, music, and TV of the year so far. Among its recommendations:
  • Film: Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life is quite good—but Lee Chang-dong's Poetry, about a 66-year-old woman who may
... More »

David Foster Wallace Novel Reminds Us What We Lost

Skills as an observer of modern life on full display in posthumous 'Pale King'

(Newser) - Americans are in danger of amusing themselves to death, the late author David Foster Wallace warned in his epic novel Infinite Jest. Now, in posthumous novel The Pale King , Foster warns of the equally terrifying danger of being bored to death, in a "deeply sad, deeply philosophical book,"... More »

Judge People By Fave Author

Misfits like JD Salinger, smart geeks like JK Rowling ...

(Newser) - If you don’t want to waste the time really getting to know someone, just ask about his or her favorite author. That tells you all you need to know, Lauren Leto suggests, before running down the stereotypes:
  • JD Salinger: Kids who don’t fit in (duh).
  • Stephenie Meyer: People
... More »

10 Who Died Too Young

From Aaliyah to Tillman to Russert, they had more to offer

(Newser) - In looking back at the '00s, the sad tales of luminaries who died too young stand out. Newsweek asked friends and admirers for their reflections:
  • Randy Pausch, d. 2008: "Despite it all," JJ Abrams writes, the "Last Lecture" professor "was radiant, kind, and good-humored."
  • Tim
... More »

In Infinite Jest, Book Club Sees Finite Ending

Online group may help you finish Wallace's intimidating tome

(Newser) - As the first anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s death approaches, many would-be readers still see his Infinite Jest collecting dust on their bookshelves. Wallace’s 1,079-page tome “has become known equally for its sprawling attention to detail, its near impenetrability, and its effectiveness as a doorstop,”... More »

No, Seriously, Federer May Be a Robot

(Newser) - The late David Foster Wallace once marveled at a Roger Federer forehand, saying, “It was impossible. It was like something out of The Matrix.” And now that Federer has passed Pete Sampras and holds the Grand Slam record, it’s time to wonder if Wallace was on to... More »

In Life and Last Novel, Wallace Sought 'Adult Sanity'

(Newser) - David Foster Wallace declared war on depression and addiction in writing his last, unfinished novel, D. T. Max writes in the New Yorker. The writer's suicide by hanging last year was the culmination of a struggle to live normally, to achieve what he called “adult sanity," without antidepressants... More »

New Yorker to Run Excerpt of Wallace's Last Book

In Pale King , deceased writer 'didn't want to do the old tricks'

(Newser) - David Foster Wallace fans can get a glimpse of the deceased writer’s unfinished novel tomorrow, when the New Yorker publishes an excerpt from The Pale King, the Washington Post reports. Wallace, who killed himself last fall, had been working on the book for years. The magazine will also run... More »

Depression Killed David Foster Wallace

Only friends, family knew of the writer's emotional state

(Newser) - After a torrent of tributes to David Foster Wallace since his suicide 2 weeks ago, Salon talks with close friends and family members about the decades-long battle with depression that led the beloved and astonishingly talented writer to take his life. For years, Wallace functioned with the help of antidepressants,... More »

Wallace Kept Up 'Debate Inside His Head'

Infinite Jest author was an 'astute observer' and 'prose magician'

(Newser) - David Foster Wallace was remembered today as a complex novelist who engaged in layer upon layer of self-examination. The author of Infinite Jest "wrote about the maddening impossibility of scrutinizing yourself without also scrutinizing yourself scrutinizing yourself and so on," Laura Miller writes in Salon. Wallace's suicide remains... More »

Writer David Foster Wallace Found Dead

46-year-old Infinite Jest author hangs himself in California home

(Newser) - Author David Foster Wallace, best known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, has been found dead in his California home at the age of 46, the Los Angeles Times reports. His wife, who found his body Friday, told police that he hanged himself. Wallace gained worldwide renown for his ambitious... More »

14 Stories