D.T. Max's biography of the late author David Foster Wallace, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story, was released in paperback in August. To celebrate, D.T. sent along a diverse list of books Wallace enjoyed.
David Foster Wallace once made a surprising list of his ten favorite books.
Was Wallace joking? Partly. Alligator was a childhood favorite, as his sister remembers but Fear of Flying? And as a mature adult and author the novels he loved tended more to high art. In published essays and even more in letters to friends and editors, he declared his real passions. For instance, in 1990 he wrote the novelist David Markson: "...I’ve read and reread every word of Pynchon, Barth, Delllo, Puig, Cortazar, and Jean Rhys — my own little Olympus."
Here are ten of DFW's particular favorites:
- Omensetter's Luck by William Gass
- Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
- The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
- Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Underworld by Don DeLillo
- Rainbow Stories by William Vollmann
- The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen
- anything by Cynthia Ozick