Marshall Boswell


1996, PhD. - Twentieth-Century American Literature, Emory University
1988, B.A. - Summa Cum Laude, with Honors in English, Washingotn & Lee University
1989, M.A. - English, Washington University

A member of the Rhodes English Department since 1996, Marshall teaches courses in 20th Century American Literature and Fiction Writing. In addition to full-length studies of contemporary writers John Updike and David Foster Wallace, Marshall has published two works of fiction, the story collection Trouble with Girls (Algonquin 2003), which was an April 2003 Book Sense 76 pick, and the novel, Alternative Atlanta (Delacorte Press 2005), both of which are now available in paperback. In 2008 he completed work as editor and primary contributor for the final of the fourth volume of the Encyclopedia of American Literature. His stories have appeared in PlayboyShenandoah, the New England Review, the Missouri Review, and New Stories from the South. In 2002 he won the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching, while in 2007 he won the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity. In fall 2007 he delivered the keynote address at the Rhodes College Convocation, a clip of which is available below. His newest book is The Wallace Effect: David Foster Wallace and the Contemporary Literary Imagination, to be published by Bloomsbury Books in 2019.

book cover featuring a two-lane highway
David Foster Wallace and "The Long Thing"
a book cover featuring four books
A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies

book cover that shows a man with arms outstretched and his face covered by a yellow road sign
Alternative Atlanta
book cover featuring a man's feet with lace-up shoes
Trouble with Girls
book cover featuring a photograph of David Foster Wallace in a turtleneck
Understanding David Foster Wallace

a blue book cover with the words "John Updikes Rabbit Tetralogy"

John Updike's Rabbit Tetralogy Mastered Irony in Motion





The Wallace Effect: David Foster Wallace and the Contemporary Literary Imagination. Forthcoming by Bloomsbury, February 2019.

David Foster Wallace and the Long Thing.  Editor.  New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.

A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies.  Ed. with Stephen Burn.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

The Encyclopedia of American Literature, Volume IV: 1946-2005.  Edited with Carl Rollyson. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2008.

Alternative Atlanta.  Novel.  New York: Delacorte/Bantam Books, 2005.

Understanding David Foster Wallace.  Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2004.

Trouble with Girls.  Short Stories.  Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003.

John Updike's Rabbit Tetralogy: Mastered Irony in Motion. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2001.


“David Foster Wallace and Generation X.”  Forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to David Foster Wallace.  Ralph Clare, ed.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

“Teaching Infinite Jest.”  Forthcoming in Approaches to Teaching David Foster Wallace.  Eds. Stephen Burn and Mary Holland.  New York: Publications of the Modern Language Association, 2018.

“Aging Novelists and the End of the American Century.” _The Cambridge
Companion to American Literature of the 1990s_.  Stephen Burn, ed.  New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2018: 48-62.

“The Rival Lover: David Foster Wallace and the Anxiety of Influence in Jeffrey Eugenidies’ The Marriage Plot.”  Modern Fiction Studies 62.3 (Fall 2016): 499-518.

“Something Both and Neither: Marshes, Marriage and the Fertile Invention of John Barth’s The Tidewater Tales.” John Barth: A Body of Words. Ed. Charles Harris.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016: 257-273.

“Author Here: The Legal Fiction of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.English Studies 95, Issue 1 (February 2014): 25-39.  Reprinted in David Foster Wallace: Presences of the Other, ed. Beatrice Pire and Pierre-Louis Patoine.  Toronto: Sussex Academic Press, 2017: 9-25.

“The Constant Monologue Inside Your Head.”  A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies.  Ed. Marshall Boswell and Stephen Burn.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013: 151-170.

Guest Editor, Studies in the Novel Special Issue: “David Foster Wallace as Novelist.”  Volume 44, Numbers 3 and 4 (Fall and Winter 2012).

“Trickle-Down Citizenship: Taxes and Civic Duty in David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.”  Studies in the Novel, Volume 44, Number 4 (Winter 2012): 464-79.   Reprinted in David Foster Wallace and ‘The Long Thing’: 209-225.

“Richard Powers.”  The Dictionary of Literary Biography.  Ed. Giles, Wanda and James Giles.  Columbia, SC.  A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book/Gale Cengage Learning, 2009: 283-297.

“David Foster Wallace.”  The Dictionary of Literary Biography.  Ed. Giles, Wanda and James Giles.  Columbia, SC.  A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book/Gale Cengage Learning, 2009: 352-365.

“Heading Westward.”  The Sonora Review 55/56 (Spring/Summer 2009). Supplement A Tribute to David Foster Wallace: 28-32.

“A Gesture Toward Understanding David Foster Wallace.” Modernism/modernity 16, Number 1: 6-9.

"Updike, Religion, and the Novel of Moral Debate."  The Cambridge Companion to John Updike.  Olster, Stacy, ed.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005: 43-57.

"The World and the Void: Creatio ex Nihilo and Homoeroticism in John Updike's Rabbit Is Rich." John Updike and Religion: The Sense of the Sacred and The Motions of Grace. James O. Yerkes, ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishers, 1999: 161-179.

“The Black Jesus: Racism and Redemption in John Updike’s Rabbit Redux.” Contemporary Literature 39 (Spring 1998): 99-132.

Short Fiction

“Father Figure.” The Rome Review 1 (Summer 2009): 76-88.

“The Remotes.”  New England Review 27, Number 3 (Fall 2006): 215-223.

“Anger Head.”  Don’t Abuse the Muse.  Dallas: The Middlefinger Press, 2005

“How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years.”  The Sun,  February, 2002: 38-45.

“In Between Things.” The Missouri Review 23, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 9-24. Reprinted in New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best 2001.  Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Book of Chapel Hill, 2001.

“The King and I.” Atlanta Review 5, no.1 (Fall/Winter 1998): 87-98.

“Bloody Knuckles.” Yalabousha Review 3 (Spring 1997): 17-29.

“A Midsummer Night’s Orbit.” Habersham Review 6, no. 1 (Spring 97): 53-68.

“Wolfe.” New England Review 16, no 3 (Summer 1994): 71-86.

“Hidden Agendas.” Playboy 40, no. 2, February 1993: 78-80, 136, 168-174.

“Bottoms Up.” Playboy 38, no. 11, November 1991: 78-80, 136-143.

“Forts.” Shenandoah 40, no. 4 (Winter 1990): 96-112