Rethinking David Foster Wallace

Steve Rhodes (CC BY 2.0) / Mark Riechers (TTBOOK)

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After years of adulation, David Foster Wallace is now facing a moment of reckoning. On the tenth anniversary of his suicide, more stories have surfaced about his abusive treatment of women. Wallace has become a symbol of lit-bro culture. Where does that leave readers in this #MeToo era? Should we stop reading his books?

This week, we talk with Wallace fans and critics. Many still consider him the greatest voice of his generation — even as they grapple with new details about his life. We also hear from Wallace himself — including a notable conversation he had with us on the eve of his greatest literary success.

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Even this many years later, it’s hard to underestimate what a popular and controversial writer David Foster Wallace still is. There’s even an entire field of "David Foster Wallace Studies" — one of its leaders is Clare Hayes-Brady.More

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12:05
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The most famous thing David Foster Wallace wrote is Infinite Jest, his huge, sprawling novel set in a dystopian near future. It’s a little eerie how well he predicted our world today — including the election of someone a lot like President Trump.More

Length: 
3:40
Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood, hosts of "And But So."
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David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece — Infinite Jest — is famously difficult to read. Colleen Leahy and Makini Allwood are climbing the literary mountain of a book, and sharing their experience on a podcast called "And But So."More

Length: 
10:18
David Foster Wallace
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Over the years, we did several interviews with Wallace himself. The last was in 2004, about his collection of short stories — "Oblivion." It’s an interview that’s been collected in two Wallace anthologies.More

Length: 
11:34
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Amy Wallace-Havens didn’t care whether David was famous, or even whether he was a writer. He was just her big brother. Anne spoke with her about a year after his death.
 More

Length: 
9:18
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David Foster Wallace gave the commencement speech at Kenyon College in 2005. It was popular enough to eventually be published in a thin little book called “This Is Water.”More

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3:23
Show Details 📻
Airdates
September 08, 2018
Guests: 

Clare Hayes-Brady

Colleen Leahy

Makini Allwood

David Foster Wallace

Amy Wallace-Havens

Monday, September 10, 2018 - 18:47