David Foster Wallace, the writer best known for his critically acclaimed 1996 novel Infinite Jest, has been found dead at his Claremont, California, home, police said.
Wallace was discovered by his wife, Karen Green, who returned home to find that he had hanged himself, Claremont police said. He was 46.
The novelist, essayist and humorist hailed for his ironic wit gained international prominence with Infinite Jest, a 1,079-page novel that takes place in a drug rehabilitation centre and an elite tennis academy.
The book won acclaim from Time magazine for its "painfully funny dialogue and Wallace's endlessly rich ruminations and speculations on addiction, entertainment, art, life and, of course, tennis" and was named by the magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923.
Wallace taught creative writing at Pomona College in Claremont.
"I know a great novelist has left the scene, but we knew him as a great teacher who cared deeply about his students, who treasured him," said Gary Kates, the dean of Pomona College.
Wallace's most recent book was a paperback version of a 2000 profile of Republican presidential nominee John McCain for Rolling Stone magazine, titled McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express With John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope.
Wallace, who was hailed as one of the most influential writers of his generation, also wrote the short story collections "Girl With Curious Hair" and "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men," and "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again," a collection of essays.
Wallace was born in Ithaca, NY. His father, James Donald Wallace, was a philosophy professor at the University of Illinois, and his mother Sally Foster Wallace taught English at a community college in Champaign, Ill.