Both Flesh and Not

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Penguin Group Australia, Oct 24, 2012 - Literary Collections - 272 pages
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Brilliant, dazzling, never-before-collected non-fiction, by the legendary David Foster Wallace

Beloved for his wonderfully discerning eye, his verbal elasticity and his uniquely generous imagination, David Foster Wallace was heralded by critics and fans as the voice of a generation. Collected in Both Flesh and Not are fifteen essays published for the first time in book form.

From 'Federer Both Flesh and Not', considered by many to be his nonfiction masterpiece; to 'The (As it Were) Seminal Importance of Terminator 2,' which deftly dissects James Cameron's blockbuster; to 'Fictional Futures and the Conspicuously Young', an examination of television's effect on a new generation of writers, David Foster Wallace's writing swoops from erudite literary discussion to open-hearted engagement with the most familiar of our twentieth-century cultural references.

A celebration of David Foster Wallace's great loves – for language, for precision, for meaning - and a feast of enjoyment for his fans, Both Flesh and Not is a fitting tribute to this writer who was never concerned with anything less important than what it means to be alive.


'Every one of these pieces, even the tiniest introduction to a collection of prose poems, hums with Wallace's contrary energy … They show a mind at work, and it was one of the best this country has seen.' – John Freeman, Boston Sunday Globe

'Both Flesh and Not is excellent in its entirety and just as quietly, unflinchingly soul-stirring.' – Maria Popova, The Atlantic

'At their best these essays remind us of Wallace's arsenal of talents: his restless, heat-seeking reportorial eye; his ability to convey the physical or emotional truth of things with a couple of flicks of the wrist; his capacity to make leaps, from the mundane to the metaphysical, with breathtaking velocity and ardor.' – Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

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About the author (2012)

David Foster Wallace wrote the novels Infinite Jest and The Broom of the System, and the story collections Oblivion, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men and Girl With Curious Hair. His nonfiction includes Consider the Lobster, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Everything and More and This Is Water. Wallace was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Award and a Whiting Writers' Award. He died in 2008.

'One of the most dazzling luminaries of contemporary American fiction.' Sunday Times

'One of the most influential novelists of his generation: capable of stunning articulacy, moral insight and industry.' Independent

'A dense, agonised, brilliant and moving body of work. It seems miraculous, even heroic, that Wallace achieved what he did.' Sam Leith, Literary Review

'One of those novelists who seem to push along the evolution of the form. You can recognize his prose style by a single sentence.' Benjamin Markovits, Observer

'A wonderfully exuberant comic writer and ironist, a writer of boundless imaginative gifts. His work will continue to be read long into the future.' Jason Cowley, New Statesman

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