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String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis: A Library of America Special Publication Hardcover – 10 May 2016
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"Wallace's grasp of tennis was truly prodigious. The analytical powers that must have ended up hindering him as a player made him a peerless observer of the sport. He has often been described as the best tennis writer of all time, and these essays don't disabuse that notion." --The Guardian
"Ruminative, digressive, lyrical, funny, sad, sometimes borderline lunatic, these posthumously collected journalistic pieces have all the hallmarks of Wallace's novels. Verbal pyrotechnics and philosophical speculation alternate with pop-culture allusions and Homeric lists." --Washington Post
"Wallace's career was cut tragically short by his death, and so it's a real treat to get our hands on any new insights into his talent... collecting them together like this gives us a chance to admire and analyze his work in a whole new way." --Bustle
"Wallace played the game with all of his person. The same intellectually questing, sensorily hungry spirit is present in his writing about it. The result is a terrific book about a human activity and life outside the lines that trammel it." --The Millions
"[Federer as Religious Experience] has become one of the most celebrated essays from one of the most celebrated writers of the past quarter-century... the scope of Wallace's vision was so magnificent." --Newsweek
"Wallace's essays on tennis, collected here in a remarkable volume, are a mixture of courtside reportage and armchair rumination. 5 stars" --The Telegraph
"It's a winning combination that makes his five essays on tennis, published together for the first time in the new (and very good-looking) Library of America collection, String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis, some of his best." --The London Review Bookshop
"Essentially passionate, insightful, frequently hilarious nature of these pieces, which offer an unparalleled insight into the game of tennis both on a personal and professional level." --Review 31
"What makes this collection so valuable for serious tennis fans is the chance to see 'the most beautiful sport there is' through Wallace's eyes. In a nation that often derides tennis as effete because it lacks physical contact, Wallace sees it as manly." --Town and Country
"As often happens in his nonfiction, Wallace's ostensible subject frequently serves as an excuse for, or rather a gateway to, any number of other considerations, some of which, on occasion, will temporarily hijack the essay in question, usurping its original topic. With tennis as the hub in this volume, spokes run out in several directions from essay to essay: to mathematics, to finance and commerce, to meteorology and geography, to celebrity culture and the ethos of entertainment, to Greek tragedy, to mysticism. It's all in the game." --3am Magazine
About the Author
David Foster Wallace (1962 2008) was born in Ithaca, New York, in 1962 and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where in his teens he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player. His works include Infinite Jest, Girl with Curious Hair, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Oblivion, A Supposedly Fun Thing I ll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. His final novel, The Pale King, was posthumously published in 2011.
John Jeremiah Sullivan is one of America s leading practitioners of the long-form magazine profile, with work appearing in The New York Times Magazine (where he is a staff writer), Harper's (of which he is a contributing editor), The New Yorker, New York, Oxford American, GQ, and other magazines. He is the author of Blood Horses: Notes of Sportswriter's Son and Pulphead.
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This is a book I will read over and over. It needs to be up there with great books about sport.
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