David Foster Wallace Biography Gets Publishing Deal

David Foster Wallace

Since the suicide of author David Foster Wallace last September left the literary community reeling, two writers have tried to grapple with his oft-emotionally turbulent life and celebrated career in the form of biographies: D.T. Max, who penned a lengthy New Yorkerarticle on the author after his death, and David Lipsky, who wrote one for Rolling Stone. As of last week, though, only Max's proposal earned a publishing deal, while Lipsky's remains unsold.

Lipsky's proposal for a biography, on the other hand, would be based on a series of audio tapes from when he joined Wallace on a book tour in 1996. An anonymous editor showed concern that turning that idea into a formal book might prove difficult, though it would allow readers "to kind of hear that incredible music again: the sound of David Foster Wallace at full tilt."