This Tuesday, Viking Press will release D. T. Max’s Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. I first read Max in a college copyediting course, where his wonderful article on editorial boundaries and the relationship between Raymond Carver and Gordon Lish was assigned. Our professor talked fondly of the buzz created by the article, how it was all anyone talked about, how he and his friends wrestled with what the revelations about Lish’s heavy influence meant about Carver’s work.
When I found out Max was writing the first comprehensive biography of Wallace, I hoped he might help us at least know more Wallace’s life and work. And of course I had high hopes—Max’s heartbreaking New Yorker piece on Wallace’s final years augured well for a larger project.
Max was kind enough to speak with me about the book’s reception, the DFW backlash, and where The Pale King fits in Wallace’s oeuvre. Special thanks to Viking’s Shannon Twomey for arranging the interview. Continue reading