David Foster Wallace was beloved for his inimitable voice and wit-and, for many of his readers, admired as much for his astonishingly perceptive and inventive essays as he was for his fiction. Both Flesh and Not gathers fifteen of Wallace's seminal essays, all published in book form for the first time.
Never has Wallace's seemingly endless curiosity been more evident than in this compilation of work spanning nearly 20 years of writing. Here, Wallace turns his critical eye with equal enthusiasm toward Roger Federer and Jorge Luis Borges; Terminator 2 and The Best of the Prose Poem; the nature of being a fiction writer and the quandary of defining the essay; the best underappreciated novels and the English language's most irksome misused words; and much more.
In addition to these essays, Both Flesh and Not includes a selection from Wallace's personal vocabulary list, an assembly of unusual words and definitions that serve as a reminder of Wallace's ferocious love of language.
A sweeping, exhilarating collection of some of the author's most emotionally immediate work, Both Flesh and Not reminds us why A.O. Scott, writing in the New York Times, called David Foster Wallace "The best mind of his generation."