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Girl with Curious Hair

Girl with Curious Hair

Paperback

By (author) David Foster Wallace

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  • Publisher: Abacus
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 30mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 6 November 1997
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0349111022
  • ISBN 13: 9780349111025
  • Sales rank: 42,205

Product description

In these stories, the author renders the bizarre normal and the absurd hilarious, from the eerily real , almost holographic evocations of historical figures, to overtelevised game-show hosts and late-night comedians. In the title story, punk nihilism meets Young Republicanism.

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Author information

David Foster Wallace is one of the most prodigiously talented young writers in America today and has received numerous awards for his work. He lives in downstate Illinois.

Review quote

This collection of ten tales provides ample proof of his virtuosity for the uninitiated... This is not a writer for the squeamish... but his satirical mastery of speech patterns and his eye for the grotesque can astonish. DAILY TELEGRAPH Puncturing the veneer of power lies at the crux of this collection, and attention to detail illuminates the banal. Wallace's control of different voices is superb, given the individual style of each tale. THE TIMES It is his prose that really sets him apart; sometimes eerily banal, at others so densely observed you're scared to blink, and making ordinary situations seem strangely disconnnected from reality. Cleverness and verbosity are additional key ingredients, and the effect is often brilliant. SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY A collection of stories as varied in length and theme as they are imaginative, and as downright bizarre as any collection by one author has a right to be. Truly funny surreal humour. San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial reviews

Wallace follows his debut novel (The Broom of the System, 1986) with this collection of nine stories and a John Barthian novella. The best of the pieces, often drawn from the media or topical events, are inventive, entertaining, and inspired, while others - including the novella - can be all too glib and mannered. "Little Expressionless Animals" (which received the 1988 John Train Humor Prize from the Paris Review) is a zany, fast-paced romp through la-la land: Julie, a bleached-blonde lesbian with an idiot-savant brother, lives through a three-year winning streak on Jeopardy. Wallace - along with the reader - has a great deal of fun with backstage politics and a media-inspired hysteria that wrecks people. Meanwhile, the title story turns Less Than Zero into parody: a young Republican hangs out with a group of L.A. punks (Gimlet, Big, and Mr. Wonderful) at a Keith Jarrett concert - the tale is tantalizing in its facility with its milieu (here, Wallace's feverish prose finds a fitting subject) and even the expected stylized violence at the end outflanks cliche In "My Appearance," an anxious actress narrates the antics surrounding her appearance on The David Letterman Show. While there is a little too much media analysis (Wallace is fatally fixated at times on superficial forms of glamour), there is also some good satire. After those three stories, however, the pickings grow thin: "Lyndon" is a predictable, too facile mock-memoir about LBJ written by an aide and shot through with quotes about the former President, while "Here and There" and "Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way" (the novella) are jargon-ridden, archly metafictional, and too clever for their own good: the novella, especially, is surprisingly jejune. In all, the work of a prodigious but still developing talent too much impressed with his own gifts and with some current critical theory. (Kirkus Reviews)