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Book news: Wallace, Gioia, Tan and more

September 14, 2008 |  1:09 pm


David Foster Wallace is remembered by books editor David Ulin: "He is one of the main writers who brought ambition, a sense of play, a joy in storytelling and an exuberant experimentalism of form back to the novel in the late '80s and early 1990s. And he really restored the notion of the novel as a kind of canvas on which a writer can do anything."

On Saturday, blogger Ed Champion broke the news of Wallace's death; he's now posted a remembrance. More at the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Newsweek and messages here and here.

Dana Gioia has announced that he will step down as head of the N.E.A. in January 2009, instead of staying until his  term ends in December 2010. "The reason I'm leaving is to be a poet. I've given up six years of my creative life for public service, and I'm not allowed to publish while I'm in office," he told the LA Times. "I shall never have a more exciting job than the NEA, but a poet needs a little boredom."

Parts of the opera version of Amy Tan's "The Bonesetter's Daughter" can be heard in this story on NPR.

The National Book Festival takes place in Washington D.C. on Saturday September 27, with appearances by more than 70 authors including Salman Rushdie, Francine Prose, Richard Price, Alexander McCall Smith, Paul Theroux, Kimberly Dozier, Arthur Frommer and Pauline Frommer, Philippa Gregory, Brad Meltzer, Bob Schieffer, and Dionne Warwick. Jon Scieszka and Steven Kellogg (no relation).

— Carolyn Kellogg