The Pale King


David Foster Wallace
The Pale King
(Little, Brown, April 2012)

Foreign rights have been sold to: Hamish Hamilton UK, Penguin Australia, Au Diable Vauvert (France), Einaudi (Italy), Kiepenheuer & Witsch (Germany), Random House Mondadori (Spain), Meulenhoff (Netherlands), Natur & Kultur (Sweden), Cappelen Damm (Norway), Horizon Media (China), Campanhia das Letras (Brazil), Kedros (Greece), and Bertrand Editora (Portugal).

The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, IL appear ordinary enough to newly-arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has.The Pale Kingremained unfinished at the time of David Foster Wallace’s death, but it is a deeply intriguing and satisfying novel, hilarious and fearless and as original as anything Wallace ever undertook. It grapples directly with fundamental issues–questions of life’s meaning and of the true value of work and family–through characters imagined with the interior force and generosity that were Wallace’s unique gifts. Along the way it suggests a new idea of heroism and commands infinite respect for a writer who dared to take on the most daunting subjects the human spirit can imagine.