Fiction Fix: A Snippet from David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King


The Fiction Fix is your weekly dose of *short story. If that’s not your drug of choice, too bad: consider it medicine. Every week, we’ll scour the literary magazines you don’t have time to read, online and in print, and let you know where to find one story worth reading.

We know we’ve used this space to sing the praises of David Foster Wallace before, but this morning thanks to Gawker we stumbled across “Wiggle Room,” an excerpt from his forthcoming posthumous novel which runs alongside a heady profile on the author in this week’s New Yorker.

The latter we’re still trying to parse. We might revisit it after the Diet Coke buzz kicks in.

Click here if you’re compelled to read more than our teaser of their teaser for The Pale King below and DFW fans, mark your calendars for a 2010 release from Little, Brown.

“Lane Dean, Jr., with his green rubber pinkie finger, sat at his Tingle table in his chalk’s row in the rotes group’s wiggle room and did two more returns, then another one, then flexed his buttocks and held to a count of ten and imagined a warm pretty beach with mellow surf, as instructed in orientation the previous month. Then he did two more returns, checked the clock real quick, then two more, then bore down and did three in a row, then flexed and visualized and bore way down and did four without looking up once, except to put the completed files and memos in the two Out trays side by side up in the top tier of trays, where the cart boys could get them when they came by.”

* We know this isn’t a short story rather an excerpt from a novel. But a. it’s really cool and b. it’s Monday morning, so cut us some slack, will ya?