David Foster WallaceWildly Influential American Author
A wildly influential American author known for his innovative, occasionally manic, deliberately unselfconscious prose.
David Foster Wallace is a wildly influential American author known for his innovative, occasionally manic, deliberately unselfconscious prose. Perhaps one of the most well-known US practitioners of nonlinear narrative, Wallace gained unprecedented notoriety in 1996 with the publication of the gargantuan Infinite Jest, which made extensive use of Wallace's tendency to make up vocabulary and acronyms and incorporate extensive footnotes and endnotes into his fiction. While he was a literary virtuoso capable of writing in a multitude of styles and perspectives, the voice he most often reverted to, whether in novels or in essays on pop culture and politics, was warm, direct, and chatty. His writing was consistently witty, passionate, and occasionally hilarious, but his lifelong struggles with depression and dependency informed the thematic content of much of his fiction, which often tackles the basic question of how human beings can survive on a day-to-day basis in the face of crushing horror, ennui, and self-involvement. Wallace committed suicide in 2008.