I never thought I would enjoy non-fiction essays till I discovered David Foster Wallace. I have tried reading his fiction, to no avail. DFW is a genius that I cannot understand in the abstract. He has to spell things out, as he did in the Guardian, "Plain old untrendy troubles and emotions".
I call the essay "The Fish Story" and a friend of mine I gifted it to, in hardcover, would agree with me. Its the Fish introduction that sets the tone of the essay. DFW, the genius, stoops to my level, to discuss and philosophy about the quandries of Americans, who stress about their work, their grocery shopping and their large collection of freedoms. DFW speaks directly to us, grasps us in our idiosynchracies and puts everything in perspective. I have read the essay at least 6 times since I discovered it last year and I find a new detail in every single read. Don't they say fish always swim in different waters?
I looked for DFW's on the internet again, after I started reading and really enjoying Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Murakami has been on my to read list, for fiction. He is reputed to be a genius. His reputation was confirmed the minute I read his non fiction piece that my husband left at his bedside after devouring it.
I don't devour books I like. I relish them. The minute I turned the first page of the introduction, that I got invited to listen to Murakami's simple, yet profound confession, I was running with him.
I am not a runner. But I am a reader. As the Japanese writer/scholar/professor runs by my beloved Charles River in Cambridge Massachusetts, I consider myself very fortunate to have found, yet another piece of non-fiction that I utterly enjoy.