David Foster Wallace

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General Information

Wallace David Foster.jpg
Name: David Foster Wallace

Pen Name: None

Born: 1962 in Ithaca, New York

Died: 2008 in Claremont, California

Illinois Connection

Wallace was raised in Champaign-Urbana.

Biographical and Professional Information

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.

Wallace published short fiction in Might, GQ, Playboy, The Paris Review, Harper's Magazine, Mid-American Review, Conjunctions, Esquire, Open City, Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The New Yorker, and Science. In 1997, Wallace received the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, awarded by editors of The Paris Review for one of the stories in Brief Interviews—"Brief Interviews with Hideous Men #6"—which had appeared in the magazine.

His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, where he was the first Roy E. Disney Professor of Creative Writing. He 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.

Published Works

  • The Broom of the System, Viking, 1987
  • Girl With the Curious Hair, W.W. Norton, 1989
  • Infinite Jest, Little Brown, 1996
  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments, Back Bay Books, 1998
  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Back Bay Books, 2000
  • Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity, Norton, 2003
  • Oblivion: Stories, Back Bay Books, 2005
  • Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, Back Bay Books, 2005
  • This is Water, Little Brown, 2009
  • The Pale King, Back Bay Books, 2011
  • Both Flesh and Not: Essays, Back Bay Books, 2012

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

Girl With Curious Hair

ISBN: 0349111022
Release Date: 1997-11-06

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Infinite Jest: A Novel

ISBN: 0316920045
Release Date: 1996-02-01

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A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments

ISBN: 0316925284
Release Date: 1998-02-02

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Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

ISBN: 0316925195
Release Date: 2000-04-01

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Oblivion: Stories

ISBN: 9780316010764
Release Date: 2005-08-30

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Consider the Lobster and Other Essays

ISBN: 0316013323
Release Date: 2007-07-02

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This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life

ISBN: 0316068225
Release Date: 2009-04-14

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The Pale King

ISBN: 9780316074223
Release Date: 2012-04-10

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Both Flesh and Not: Essays

ISBN: 0316182389
Release Date: 2013-11-19

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Literary Awards

  • Inclusion of "Good Old Neon" in Prize Stories 2002: The O. Henry Awards
  • Named to Usage Panel, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language 4th Edition
  • Inclusion of "The Depressed Person" in Prize Stories 1999: The O. Henry Awards
  • Illinois State University, Outstanding University Researcher, 1998 and 1999
  • Aga Khan Prize for Fiction for Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, 1997
  • Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year (Fiction), 1996
  • Salon Book Award (Fiction), 1996
  • Lannan Literary Award (Fiction), 1996
  • Whiting Writers' Award, 1987

External Links

David Foster Wallace on WorldCat


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