One of the many freelance hats I wear is as an editor for Baristanet, a cool local news/magazine website. Local in this case geographically means coverage is centered on Montclair, New Jersey (a neighboring community to mine). Sometimes people refer to Montclair as "writerville" (and sometimes "Brooklyn West," but that's another story). If you tried to count how many writers, editors, journalists, poets, broadcasters, reporters, publishing executives, and other media and literary types live in Montclair, you'd quit long before you even got through those who've made it onto the New York Times bestseller list.
Which brings me to how lucky I am to occasionally assign myself an interview with a local resident who is making literary news. This week, I sat down for a lunchtime chat with D.T. Max, a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of the biography, Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, a current NYT bestseller.
First, of course, I read Max's book, a thoroughly researched, compassionate and deeply thoughtful account of Wallace's literary and personal life. Wow.
I had previously been more familiar with Wallace's nonfiction, his long magazine essays, and had been too intimidated to plunge into his most significant novel, Infinite Jest. Now, I think I must tackle those 1200 pages.
You can read my Q&A with Daniel Max over at Baristanet.
If you are anywhere near writerville (that is, in Northern NJ), think about stopping in at the Montclair Library cafe tonight to hear Max read and discuss the book and DFW.