The novelist, essayist, humorist, and educator, David Foster Wallace, best known for his 1996 novel Infinite Jest, was found dead Friday night at his home in Claremont. His wife, Karen Green, discovered that Wallace had hanged himself when she returned home on Friday, September 12. He was 46.
Wallace won a cult following from the very start of his literary career with his darkly humorous and ironic wit. His first novel was published in 1987, The Broom of the System, but it was his 1996 novel, Infinite Jest, which shot him to the top of the literary world with its sprawling, complex and ambitious nonlinear plot that ran 1,079 pages.
Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, Feb. 21, 1962, but was raised in Illinois, where his father taught philosophy at the University of Illinois and his mother taught English at the local community college.
He attended Amherst College, majoring in philosophy before switching his attention to creative writing. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1985, turning his senior thesis into the basis for The Broom of the System.
Since 2002, when he was named the first Roy E. Disney professor of creative writing, he had taught at Pomona College.