“Reading It, I Didn’t Feel So Alone”

By Emily Gold Boutilier

Daniel Pastan ’13 discovered Infinite Jest three years after the death of its author, David Foster Wallace ’85. “I just fell in love,” says Pastan, who read the book while studying abroad in Thailand. “I’d never read anything like it before. This sounds melodramatic, but reading it, I didn’t feel so alone.”

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Brief Interview with a Five Draft Man

David Foster Wallace

The author David Foster Wallace 85, a towering figure in modern literature, died on Sept. 12, 2008. Best known for his novel Infinite Jest, Wallace received an honorary degree from Amherst in 1999.

That year, Amherst magazine writer Stacey Schmeidel interviewed Wallace by mail. The feature-length Q & A, titled "Brief Interview With a Five Draft Man," ran in the Spring 1999 issue of the magazine, and is reprinted here:

David Foster Wallace ’85 (1962–2008)

audioListen to an audio recording of the celebration of the life and writing of David Foster Wallace ’85

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September 14, 2008

DFW-2

David Foster Wallace ’85, a towering figure in modern literature who died Friday, Sept. 12, in Claremont, Calif., was remembered by one of his English professors as an unassuming student of both prodigious talent and productivity, while a roommate recalled Mr. Wallace as a close friend who was serious and sincere as a student at Amherst. 

“It was an enormous privilege to work with David during his senior honors project in English, which became nothing less than his first published novel, ‘The Broom of the System,’”  said Dale E. Peterson, the Eliza Clark Folger Professor of English at Amherst.

Author Mark Costello Will Read Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Amherst College

Submitted by Patricia M. Allen
September 10, 2007 Contact: Stacey Schmeidel Director of Public Affairs 413/542-2321 AMHERST, Mass.—Author Mark Costello will read from his work at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, in Pruyne Lecture Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Creative Writing Center, the event is open to the public at no charge.