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New David Foster Wallace Novel "The Pale King" Renews Debate About Posthumous Books

NEW YORK — David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King,” the year’s most awaited and complicated literary novel, has renewed a very old debate.Published 2 1-2 years after his suicide, “The Pale King” is a 547-page postmodern testament set in an I…

NEW YORK — David Foster Wallace’s “The Pale King,” the year’s most awaited and complicated literary novel, has renewed a very old debate.

Published 2 1-2 years after his suicide, “The Pale King” is a 547-page postmodern testament set in an IRS office that has been praised as a masterpiece and lamented as a mess, sometimes in the same review. Assembled from the author’s papers by his editor at Little, Brown and Company, Michael Pietsch, “The Pale King” has a back story Wallace himself might have devised: An exhilarating and baffling book by an author moved by exhilaration and bafflement.

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