September 14, 2008 / 6:39 PM / 10 years ago

Author David Foster Wallace found dead

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - David Foster Wallace, the writer best known for his critically acclaimed 1996 novel “Infinite Jest,” was found dead at his home in Claremont, California, police said.

The bookjacket of the critically acclaimed 1996 novel "Infinite Jest". David Foster Wallace, the writer best known for the novel "Infinite Jest," was found dead at his home in Claremont, California, police said. REUTERS/Hachette Book Group/Handout

The Claremont Police Department said Wallace’s wife had called them on Friday night, saying she returned home to find her 46-year-old husband had hanged himself.

Wallace, who taught creative writing at Pomona College, gained national prominence with “Infinite Jest,” named by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.

The novel, which runs to 1,000-plus pages and takes place in a drug rehabilitation center and an elite tennis academy, won acclaim from Time for its “painfully funny dialogue and Wallace’s endlessly rich ruminations and speculations on addiction, entertainment, art, life and, of course, tennis.”

Wallace’s other works include the short story collections “Girl With Curious Hair” and “Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,” as well as a collection of essays, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.”

“David was, of course, a great figure in American letters,” Gary Kates, dean of Pomona College, said in a statement.

“We knew when we hired him what an accomplished writer he was, but what we had no right to expect was what a brilliant teacher he would turn out to be ... that’s what was so unusual about David, and that’s what marks the extent of our loss.”

Reporting by Anupreeta Das; Editing by John O'Callaghan

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