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Posts Tagged ‘David Foster Wallace’

David Foster Wallace on Your Mac Thesaurus

wallace.jpgYou can get some free writing advice from the great David Foster Wallace while working on your computer.

Every Mac computer contains a copy of the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus, a powerful tool for writers that features extra “word notes” from Wallace and a number of other authors, including Rae Armantrout, Joshua Ferris, Francine Prose, Zadie Smith and Simon Winchester.

Author Dave Madden explained how to access the extra material in a post: “It’s part of the built-in dictionary. Type in a word, click on ‘Thesaurus’ in the little bar above, and you’ll get the word-for-word entry from this book I paid money for … Here, as a public service, is the list of words with notes by DFW: as, all of, beg, bland, critique, dialogue, dysphesia, effete, feckless, fervent, focus, hairy, if, impossibly, individual, loan, mucous, myriad, noma (at canker), privilege, pulchritude (at beauty), that, toward, unique, utilize.”

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Book Riot’s Start Here Project on Kickstarter

How do you know where to start reading a new author? The Book Riot team hopes to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter for a new book that will help you answer that question. We’ve embedded a video about Start Here above–what do you think?

Here’s more about the project: “[Start Here] tells you how to read your way into 25 amazing authors from a wide range of genres–children’s books to classics, contemporary fiction to graphic novels. Each chapter presents an author, explains why you might want to try them, and lays out a 3-4 book reading sequence designed to help you experience fully what they have to offer. It’s a fun, accessible, informative way to enrich your reading life.”

Start Here will be available in both print and eBook formats. Book Riot has assembled a team of writers, critics, and bloggers to write the essays. The final book will definitely feature guides to the works of  Toni Morrison, David Foster Wallace, Margaret Atwood, Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Philip Roth.

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No Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Awarded

There was no Pulitzer Prize for fiction awarded this year. Train Dreams by Denis Johnson, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell and The Pale King by David Foster Wallace were all nominated.

Stephen Greenblatt won the General Nonfiction award for  The Swerve: How the World Became Modern and John Lewis Gaddis took the Biography award for George F. Kennan: An American Life.

Tracy K. Smith won the Poetry award with Life on Mars. The Drama award went to Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable won the History prize.   Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts was awarded the Music prize.

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Free eBooks That Inspired David Foster Wallace

wallace.jpgTo celebrate the 50th birthday of the great David Foster Wallace, we’ve collected free eBook editions of seven books that inspired the late novelist.

Follow the links below to download the books.

We adapted the list of books from Laura Miller‘s long interview with Wallace for Salon in 1996.

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Jennifer Weiner Analyzes Gender Balance in NYT Fiction Coverage

Novelist Jennifer Weiner has made a count of men and women reviewed by the New York Times last year.

Overall, Weiner (pictured, via)  found that out of 254 fiction reviews, nearly 60 percent of the featured books were written by men. Her long essay also counted authors reviewed multiple times by the newspaper. Follow this link to read the whole report.

Check it out: “Finally, of the works of fiction whose authors were reviewed twice (either with two full reviews, or review plus roundup) and profiled, one was a woman and ten were men. The men who received two reviews plus a profile were David Foster Wallace, Albert Brooks, Julian Barnes, Kevin Wilson, Nicholson Baker, Tom Perrotta, Russell Banks, Jeffrey Eugenides, Haruki Murakami and Allan Hollinghurst. The only woman who received two reviews plus a profile was Tea Obreht.”

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Decemberists Adapt David Foster Wallace

The new video for “Calamity Song” by The Decemberists reenacts a scene from David Foster Wallace‘s masterpiece, Infinite Jest. We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think?

In the video, a group of teenagers play Wallace’s imaginary Eschaton game, a combination of tennis match and computer simulation for nuclear war. Follow this link if you want to play the game in real life. Singer and novelist Colin Meloy told NPR he had just finished reading Infinite Jest and wanted the video to be a tribute to the late novelist.

Check it out: “I had this funny idea that a good video for the song would be a re-creation of the Enfield Tennis Academy’s round of Eschaton — basically, a global thermonuclear crisis re-created on a tennis court — that’s played about a third of the way into the book. Thankfully, after having a good many people balk at the idea, I found a kindred spirit in Michael Schur, a man with an even greater enthusiasm for Wallace’s work than my own. With much adoration and respect to this seminal, genius book, this is what we’ve come up with. I can only hope DFW would be proud.”

What Is Your Most Anticipated Book This Year?

The Millions collected a list of 66 highly anticipated new titles coming out in the second half of 2011. The listed included George R.R. Martin with A Dance with Dragons in July, Haruki Murakami with 1Q84 in October and Stephen King with 11/22/63 in November.

Here’s more from the article: “But, even as fans look forward to books from these favorites, there will undoubtedly be many new discoveries in the coming months as well, some of which, hopefully, we can introduce you to today. The list that follows isn’t exhaustive — no list could be — but these are some of the books we’re looking forward to.”

The list excluded forthcoming children’s and YA books. In the coming months we will see Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein (September), The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (October)  and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (November). What titles are you looking forward to in the second half of 2011?

David Foster Wallace Grade School Poem in The Guardian

While exploring the David Foster Wallace archive, Justine Tal Goldberg unearthed a poem most likely written as a grade school assignment.

According to The Guardian, Goldberg was researching for an article when she found a thick folder labeled “very early DFW.” It also contained illustrated short stories, school reading lists and essays on baseball with smiley faces scribbled on the margins.

The article offers these lines from the adolescent Wallace (pictured, via) poem: “My mother works so hard / so hard and for bread. She needs some lard. / She bakes the bread. And makes / the bed. And when she’s / threw she feels she’s dayd.” What do you think? (via Publisher’s Weekly)

David Foster Wallace Tax Tips

David Foster Wallace‘s final novel comes out today. With a few days before taxes are due, we’ve collected tax tips gleaned from The Pale King.

The 547-page novel follows the obsessive mental adventures of IRS agents, providing a postmodern peek into the labyrinth of rules guiding your taxes.

As the hero suffers through an excruciatingly dull IRS orientation in chapter 27, an official explained the logic behind selecting tax returns for a dreaded audit. The instructor proceeded to tick off red flags in tax returns that could get your work audited. These warning signs follow below…

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Jonathan Frazen Writes About David Foster Wallace’s Suicide

For a limited time, The New Yorker will give Facebook fans free access to a Jonathan Franzen essay about his relationship with the late David Foster Wallace. Follow this link to access the essay.

Here’s an excerpt: “The people who knew David least well are most likely to speak of him in saintly terms. What makes this especially strange is the near-perfect absence, in his fiction, of ordinary love. Close loving relationships, which for most of us are a foundational source of meaning, have no standing in the Wallace fictional universe.”

What do you think about the provocative essay? Last week, we found a number of tax tips hidden inside The Pale King–Wallace’s unfinished novel about the lives of IRS agents.

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