David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and university professor of English and creative writing. Wallace's 1996 novel Infinite Jest was cited by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. His posthumous novel, The Pale King (2011), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2012. The Los Angeles Times's David Ulin called Wallace "one of the most influential and innovative writers of the last twenty years".
Wallace grew up in Illinois and attended Amherst College. He taught English at Emerson College, Illinois State University, and Pomona College.