A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments (Paperback)

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FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a huge DFW fan. And as a fan, I always suggest that everyone start with his essays, not his fiction. His fiction requires a certain amount of trust of the Author and I think he gains that trust in his nonfiction. He is vulnerable, self-deprecating and laugh out loud funny, while maintaining an almost child-like curiosity about the world. Whether covering the porn awards for Premiere Magazine, following John McCain on the campaign trail for Rolling Stone, drifting on the open seas on a cruise ship or attending an Illinois state fair for Harper’s, or seeing the divine in the backhand of Roger Federer, Wallace reshaped the essay form in a way that is still imitated and admired to this day. Consider the Lobster is the most solid all the way through but A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again has some of his best pieces. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

— From Sky's picks

This is my favorite essay collection on the face of the earth. Wallace's fiction (understandably) scares some readers away, but if you ask me, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again is the place to start. The title essay is a hauntingly beautiful look at despair on the supposedly utopian decks of a cruise ship (of all places), and is still perhaps the single greatest piece of non-fiction I've ever read. But the other essays in this collection take us into similarly strange corners of pop culture - to places like tennis courts, state fairs, even the set of a David Lynch film. If Infinite Jest is a portal into Wallace's literary brilliance, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again offers a look at him as a human being, someone to chat with over coffee in a diner.

— From Nick's Picks


These widely acclaimed essays from the author of Infinite Jest -- on television, tennis, cruise ships, and more -- established David Foster Wallace as one of the preeminent essayists of his generation. 

In this exuberantly praised book -- a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner -- David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction, including the bestselling Infinite Jest.

About the Author

David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English thesis. He received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in 1987 and briefly pursued graduate work in philosophy at Harvard University. His second novel, Infinite Jest, was published in 1996. Wallace taught creative writing at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College, and published the story collections Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, the essay collections A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. He was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, and a Whiting Writers' Award, and was appointed to the Usage Panel for The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. He died in 2008. His last novel, The Pale King, was published in 2011.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316925280
ISBN-10: 0316925284
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Publication Date: February 2nd, 1998
Pages: 368
Language: English