Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Deb Larson-Venable talks about
David Foster Wallace

I found it by chance: a 2014 recording of Deb Larson-Venable talking with Christopher Lydon about David Foster Wallace. Deb is the executive director of Granada House, the halfway house where Wallace got sober. Lydon asks,

“He wrote that he did this under a death sentence — that it was either get into recovery or you’re dead in two years. That concentrates the mind, and maybe that propels you willy-nilly toward community. Are there other ways to get there?”
And Deb’s answer: “You mean from — ? No.”

Deb, a Granada House resident who stayed on, appears in Infinite Jest as Pat Montesian. Deb’s story of recovery appears at the Granada House website. As does Wallace’s, identified only as an ex-resident’s story.

Why have I written Deb and not Larson-Venable? Because I met Deb Larson-Venable in 2010, on a trip to Boston, when Elaine and I went to Granada House to make a contribution.

A related post
DFW and Granada House

[Wallace’s history of cruelty and violence toward women was well known, at least in part, by 2014. It plays no part in the conversation.]

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