About the Author: David Foster Wallace '85


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 master of fine arts from the 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 of collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief interviews with Hideous Men, and Oblivion and the essay collections A Supposedly Funny Thing I'll Never Do Again and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded a 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 He died in 2008, leaving behind unpublished work of which The Pale King is a part.

David Foster Wallace -  In Memorium.

Visit the feature in the Winter 2009 issue of Amherst.

Read an interview with David Foster Wallace in the Spring 1999 issue of Amherst.