Sad news: David Foster Wallace , American novelist, essayist, short story writer, and professor in Claremont, died on September 12, 2008.
I struggled through his mega-book Infinite Jest (in English) - which is funny, entertaining, encyclopedic, insightful and much much more - but not an easy read for someone with another mother tongue. It was worth the effort!
There's an Appreciation: Idealistic Skeptic in the Los Angeles Times by David L. Ulin.
Below, there's a reading of DFW on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary celebration of Harper's Magazine, presented by the New School Writing Program in 2000.
Some links that might be of interest:
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace: The famous article about lobsters in Maine.
New York Times
DFW info, news, links
DFW inofficial page
Two quotes by DFW:
I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction's job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
I just think that fiction that isn't exploring what it means to be human today isn't art.