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David Foster Wallace Return to the Timeline

David Foster Wallace, the novelist, essayist, and short-story writer, was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and grew up in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. He graduated with honors from Amherst College and received his M.F.A. from the University of Arizona.

Wallace's well-received debut novel, THE BROOM OF THE SYSTEM, originally his 1985 English honors thesis at Amherst, was published in 1987. It was followed by GIRL WITH CURIOUS HAIR (1989), a short-story collection, and then his critically acclaimed second novel, INFINITE JEST (1996), for which he won the Lannan Foundation Award for Fiction. Wallace has since published two collections of essays -- A SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING I'LL NEVER DO AGAIN (1997) and CONSIDER THE LOBSTER (2005), the short-story collections BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN (1999) and OBLIVION: STORIES (2004), and a nonfiction work, EVERYTHING AND MORE: A COMPACT HISTORY OF INFINITY (2003).

His essays and stories have also appeared in HARPER'S, THE NEW YORKER, PLAYBOY, PARIS REVIEW, PREMIERE, TENNIS, THE MISSOURI REVIEW, and THE REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY FICTION.

Wallace was awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 1997, and has been teaching creative writing at Pomona College in Southern California since 2001.

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The American Novel