Mark Costello, Mary Karr, Dana Spiotta, and Deborah Treisman, all of whom knew the late author David Foster Wallace, discuss Wallace's life and his greatest published works.
Mark Costello is the author of the novels "Big If," which was a National Book Award finalist, and "Bag Men." In 1997, he and David Foster Wallace published "Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present." They were roommates at Amherst College.
Mary Karr is the author of the memoirs "The Liars' Club," "Cherry," and "Lit," about her alcoholism, recovery, and conversion to Catholicism. She has also published four volumes of poetry, including, most recently, "Sinners Welcome." She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes, and is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.
D. T. Max is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He is the author of "The Family That Couldn’t Sleep: A Medical Mystery" and "Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace," which came out in August and originated as a piece in the magazine.
Photo Credit: Flash Rosenberg
Dana Spiotta is the author of the novels "Lightning Field"; "Eat the Document," which was a National Book Award finalist and the winner of the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; and "Stone Arabia," which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
Photo Credit: Jessica Marx
Deborah Treisman is the fiction editor of The New Yorker. This year, she won the Maxwell E. Perkins Award for distinguished achievement in the field of fiction.
Author Mark Costello, roommate of David Foster Wallace at Amherst College, and New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman attempt to understand the motivations of Wallace's suicide in 2008. Costello, probably the person who best understood Wallace, believes that Wallace lost his will to live after his ability to write dried up.