Most of David Foster Wallace’s work was ‘closed’ to me for a long time. I found his style overbearing, heady with detail, footnotes and stylistic play. Reading this story was a turning point for me. It’s in the second person (a rare example of when the use of the second person actually works), and I’ve seldom felt closer to a character than in this story. It minutely describes the moments of a boy ascending the diving board and preparing to jump into the pool.
From Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Little, Brown/Abacus, 1999