David Foster Wallace Essays Harpers

We started the week expecting to publish one David Foster Wallace post. Then, because of the 50th birthday celebration, it turned into two. And now three. We spent some time tracking down free DFW stories and essays available on the web, and they're all now listed in our collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices. But we didn't want them to escape your attention. So here they are -- 23 pieces published by David Foster Wallace between 1989 and 2011, mostly in major U.S. publications like The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review. Enjoy, and don't miss our other collections of free writings by Philip K. Dick and Neil Gaiman.

  • "9/11: The View From the Midwest" (Rolling Stone, October 25, 2001)
  • "All That" (New Yorker, December 14, 2009)
  • "An Interval" (New Yorker, January 30, 1995)
  • "Asset" (New Yorker, January 30, 1995)
  • "Backbone" An Excerpt from The Pale King (New Yorker, March 7, 2011)
  • "Big Red Son" from Consider the Lobster & Other Essays
  • "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men" (The Paris Review, Fall 1997)
  • "Consider the Lobster" (Gourmet, August 2004)
  • "David Lynch Keeps His Head" (Premiere, 1996)
  • "Everything is Green" (Harpers, September 1989)
  • "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction" (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, June 22, 1993)
  • "Federer as Religious Experience" (New York Times, August 20, 2006)
  • "Good People" (New Yorker, February 5, 2007)
  • "Host" (The Atlantic, April 2005)
  • "Incarnations of Burned Children" (Esquire, April 21, 2009)
  • "Laughing with Kafka" (Harper's, January 1998)
  • "Little Expressionless Animals" (The Paris Review, Spring 1988)
  • "On Life and Work" (Kenyon College Commencement address, 2005)
  • "Order and Flux in Northampton" Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV(Conjunctions, 1991)
  • "Rabbit Resurrected" (Harper's, August 1992)
  • "Several Birds" (New Yorker, June 17, 1994)
  • "Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise" (Harper's, January 1996)
  • "Tennis, trigonometry, tornadoes A Midwestern boyhood"  (Harper's, December 1991)
  • "Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the wars over usage" (Harper's, April 2001)
  • "The Awakening of My Interest in Annular Systems" (Harper's, September 1993)
  • "The Compliance Branch" (Harper's, February 2008)
  • "The Depressed Person" (Harper's, January 1998)
  • "The String Theory" (Esquire, July 1996)
  • "The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys And The Shrub" (Rolling Stone, April 2000)
  • "Ticket to the Fair" (Harper's, July 1994)
  • "Wiggle Room" (New Yorker, March 9, 2009)

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David Foster Wallace was a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine from 1996 to 2008.

His first story for the magazine was “Everything Is Green,” from Girl with Curious Hair (1989). Five other short stories of his were published in the magazine, among them “Rabbit Resurrected” (August 1992), a parody of John Updike’s “Rabbit” series; “The Awakening of My Interest in Annual Systems” (September 1993), an excerpt from Infinite Jest that ran three years before the novel was published; and “The Compliance Branch” (February 2008), an excerpt from his unfinished, final novel, The Pale King (2011).

Wallace also wrote four works of nonfiction for the magazine: “Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes: A Midwestern boyhood” (December 1991); “Ticket to the Fair” (July 1994), which was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in feature writing; “Shipping Out: On the (nearly lethal) comforts of a luxury cruise” (January 1996), later published as the title piece in A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (“It was very clear to us that we had pure cocaine on our hands,” Harper’s editor Colin Harrison later said of the article); and “Tense Present: Democracy, English, and the Wars over Usage” (April 2001).

Wallace died on September 12, 2008. During his life, he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and three O. Henry Awards, among others. He was named to the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language in 1999, and in 2005 Infinite Jest was named one of the best one hundred English-language novels since 1923 by Time magazine. The Pale King was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, but lost, in a three-way tie, to nothing.

Context — September 11, 2015, 5:44 pm

Tennis, Trigonometry, Tornadoes

A Midwestern boyhood

By David Foster Wallace

Article — From the April 2001 issue

Tense present

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Democracy, English, and the wars over usage

By David Foster Wallace

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