Synopses & Reviews
A collection of stories from David Foster Wallace is occasion to celebrate. These stories -- which have been prominently serialized in Harper's, Esquire, the Paris Review, and elsewhere -- explore intensely immediate states of mind, with the attention to voice and the extraordinary creative daring that have won Wallace his reputation as one of the most talented fiction writer of his generation.Among the stories are The Depressed Person, a dazzling portrayal of a woman's mental state; Adult World, which reveals a woman's agonized consideration of her confusing sexual relationship with her husband; and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, a dark, hilarious series of portraits of men whose fear of women renders them grotesque.
"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."--Publishers Weekly, Library Journal
"Brilliant... bitingly funny...wildly imaginative." -Salon
"Following the success of his massive, much-acclaimed novel, Infinite Jest, Wallace returns to fiction with a similarly dense, cerebral, and self-reflexive set of short works.... While the inauthenticity of male/female relations is a recurrent motif, the central theme is the nature of narrative itself, as in "Octet," where the author turns self-reflexiveness on itself, creating something that might be termed meta-meta-fiction. Fans of Thomas Pynchon and Donald Barthelme will find comparable challenges here." -Library Journal
"A supersonic delight, a full-scale harassment of the short story form.... David Foster Wallace is one badass fiction writer." -Benjamin Weissman, LA Weekly
These eclectic stories--which have been prominently serialized in "Harper's, Esquire" and the "Paris Review"--explore intensely immediate states of mind with the creative daring that has won Wallace the reputation of one of the most talented fiction writers of his generation.
David Foster Wallace made an art of taking readers into places no other writer even gets near. The series of stories from which this exuberantly acclaimed book takes its title is a sequence of imagined interviews with men on the subject of their relations with women. These portraits of men at their most self-justifying, loquacious, and benighted explore poignantly and hilariously the agonies of sexual connections.
About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
A radically condensed history of postindustrial life -- Death is not the end -- Forever overhead -- Brief interviews with hideous men -- Yet another example of the porousness of certain borders (XI) -- The depressed person -- The devil is a busy man -- Think -- Signifying nothing -- Brief interviews with hideous men -- Datum centurio -- Octet -- Adult world (I) -- Adult world (II) -- The devil is a busy man -- Church not made with hands -- Yet another example of the porousness of certain borders (VI) -- Brief interviews with hideous men -- Tri-Stan : I sold Sissee Nar to Ecko -- On his deathbed, holding your hand, the acclaimed new young off-Broadway playwright's father begs a boon -- Suicide as a sort of present -- Brief interviews with hideous men -- Yet another example of the porousness of certain borders (XXIV)