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Home News by Category The Pale King The Pale King - Spring 2010

The Pale King - Spring 2010

Little, Brown and Company got in touch (Thanks, Marlena). Full press release below. Note that publication is planned for early 2010 and that Michael Pietsch will work with Karen Green and Bonnie Nadell to edit the work for publication.


New York, NY – March 1, 2009) Little, Brown and Company announced today that it will publish David Foster Wallace’s unfinished novel, THE PALE KING, which is the subject today of an article and excerpt in The New Yorker. Little, Brown acquired North American rights to the book in a deal negotiated by Wallace’s agent, Bonnie Nadell of the Frederick Hill Bonnie Nadell Literary Agency. Publication is planned for early 2010.

At the time of his death in September 2008, Wallace left behind a substantial portion of a novel he had been working on for many years. Set at an IRS tax-return processing center in Illinois in the mid 1980s, THE PALE KING is the story of a crew of entry-level processors, “wigglers” in IRS jargon (for their similarity to newly hatched tadpoles), and their attempts to do their job in the face of soul-crushing tedium and bureaucratic malevolence. The novel’s main character, David Wallace, is newly arrived at this job and learning from all around him amid epic institutional confusion. The partial novel runs several hundred thousand words and will include notes, outlines, and other material to help readers understand this great unfinished work.

Michael Pietsch, Wallace’s longtime editor, said, “The Pale King is an astonishment. It is David  Wallace’s effort to weave a novel out of life’s dark matter: boredom, banality, the ‘irrelevant complexity’ of everyday life, all the maddening stuff that stands between us and the rest of the world and through which we have to travel to arrive at joy. This was as ambitious as anything he ever did, a novel that attempts to move readers deeply and help them live their lives.” Pietsch will work with Wallace’s widow, Karen Green, and his agent and literary executor, Bonnie Nadell, in editing this work for posthumous publication.

Little, Brown and Company is the publisher of many of David Foster Wallace’s books, including Infinite Jest, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Consider the Lobster, Oblivion, and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group. Founded in 1837, Little, Brown has long been recognized as a publisher committed to publishing fiction of the highest quality.

A few more articles:
LA News - David Foster Wallace's Unfinished Novel Unearthed
LA Times Blogs - Jacket Copy - The last tycoon: David Foster Wallace
The Washington Post - New Yorker Publishes Part Of Unfinished Wallace Novel
Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2009 02:01  

The Howling Fantods