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Karen Green writing on David Foster Wallace: 'an instant classic'

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(Read caption) 'Bough Down' – a collection of poems and small postage stamp-sized collages – is Karen Green's first book.

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It’s been called “an instant classic,” “an astonishment,” and “one of the most moving, strange, original, harrowing, and beautiful documents of grief and reckoning.”

“Bough Down,” artist Karen Green’s collection of poems and collages of grief following the death of her husband, the writer David Foster Wallace, is garnering attention and excellent reviews five years after Wallace committed suicide at their home in 2008.

The delicate, vellum-wrapped volume is Green’s first book. A collection of poems and small postage stamp-sized collages by the artist, it was published earlier this spring by Siglo Press.

Green’s writing is at once unsentimental and haunting. 

“I worry I broke your kneecaps when I cut you down,” she writes of finding Wallace’s body hanging on their patio. “I keep hearing that sound.” 

In a touching show of tenderness, she recalls the small, mundane details of her husband’s life throughout the book – Wallace looking for his glasses, getting spinach stuck between his teeth, telling Green she smells “agathokakological.”

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