“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.”

Concluding Unscientific Postscript


The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel, by David Foster Wallace ’85 (Little, Brown)

Reviewed by Dale E. Peterson

The Teacher


As a visiting instructor at Amherst, Wallace, pictured in Illinois in 1996, was “a soft-spoken, sweet-natured man who wrapped his head in a signature bandana and carried a sharp red pencil to ward off grammatical and stylistic offenses.”

Talking with Dave

Like a Set of Old Clothes

The Start of Everything that Followed

David Foster Wallace at Amherst