MacArthur Fellows Program

David Foster Wallace

Writer | Class of 1997

Normal, Illinois
35 at time of award
September 12, 2008
Published July 1, 1997

About David's Work

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

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