When the sad, shocking news of David Foster Wallace’s death disseminated in September 2008 his legions of fans probably all had the same two questions –
1) Why would one of the most talented, exciting artists of our generation take his own life?
2) What was he working on and will we ever get to read it?
The answer to question one is obviously complicated, involving a life-long battle with depression and problems with how his condition was medicated. (For insight into the circumstances leading to the end of Wallace’s life, read Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace, by David Lipsky.)
The answer to question two has arrived in the form of an unfinished novel - The Pale King, released on April 15th. I haven't gotten my hands on a copy yet, so won't pretend I know what it's all about, but I know that, although bittersweet, it will be one of the most exciting and important events in the world of fiction this year.
Read these reviews for a better preview of The Pale King - Publisher's Weekly, Esquire, The Paris Review.
Read these books if you haven't yet discovered the undisputed, lost genius of David Foster Wallace.