MacArthur Fellows Program

David Foster Wallace

Writer | Class of 1997

Normal, Illinois
35 at time of award
September 12, 2008

David Foster Wallace is a writer of fiction and an essayist noted for his exuberant narrative energy.

Wallace's fictional work integrates knowledge of philosophy, mathematics, history and science, along with a deep knowledge of modern culture.  In his novel Infinite Jest, he explores America's addiction to entertainment and unrestrained consumption of fun in all its guises, and projects cultural and commercial trends into a nightmarish, future world, not so different from ours.  Wallace is the author of the novels The Broom of the System (1987), Infinite Jest (1996), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1999), and Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity (2003).  He has also published two collections of short stories, Girl with Curious Hair (1989), and Oblivion: Stories (2004); a book of essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again (1997); and an e-book, Up Simba! (2000).  He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, Harper’s, and Contemporary Fiction.

Since 2002, Wallace has been the Roy E. Disney '51 Endowed Professor of Creative Writing and a professor of English at Pomona College, Claremont.  He was an associate professor of English at Illinois State University, Bloomington-Normal (1993-2002).

Wallace received an A.B. (1985) from Amherst College, and an M.F.A. (1987) from the University of Arizona. 

Last updated January 1, 2005

News About This Fellow
July 28, 2015
"The Genius of David Foster Wallace"
Portland Tribune
David Foster Wallace , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
March 19, 2015
"Tax Advice From David Foster Wallace"
Bloomberg Business
David Foster Wallace , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
September 28, 2008
"David Foster Wallace"
"The New Yorker"
David Foster Wallace , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
September 14, 2008
"David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46"
The New York Times
David Foster Wallace , 1997 MacArthur Fellow
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