In celebration of the success of "The End of the Tour," the movie based on author David Lipsky's conversations with David Foster Wallace, I think it's only fitting to recommend a work of Wallace's this month. While Infinite Jest is of course Wallace's best-known and best-loved work, I have always been partial to his short fiction. The stories in this collection are most memorable for me because of the precision with which Wallace treats the distinct narrative voices in each piece. If that doesn't sell you, the principle setting of the novella-length final story is a massive reunion for anyone who ever appeared in a McDonald's commercial, and involves a helicopter crash, archery, and not-so-sly jabs at the contemporary literary canon. A must-read.
Girl with Curious Hair is replete with David Foster Wallace's remarkable and unsettling reimaginations of reality. From the eerily "real," almost holographic evocations of historical figures like Lyndon Johnson and overtelevised game-show hosts and late-night comedians to the title story, where terminal punk nihilism meets Young Republicanism, Wallace renders the incredible comprehensible, the bizarre normal, the absurd hilarious, the familiar strange.