DeLillo, Don 1936–
DeLillo, Don 1936–
Born November 20, 1936, in New York, NY; married. Education: Fordham University, graduated, 1958.
Agent—Wallace Literary Agency, 177 East 70th St., New York, NY 10021.
Writer. Worked as an advertising copywriter in early 1960s.
American Academy of Arts and Letters, PEN.
Guggenheim fellowship, 1979; American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, 1984; National Book Award in fiction, and National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, both 1985, both for White Noise; Irish Times International Fiction Prize, National Book Award nomination, and National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, all 1989, all for Libra; PEN/Faulkner Award, 1992, and Pulitzer Prize nomination, both for Mao II; National Book Award nomination, and National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, both 1997, Pulitzer Prize nomination, and William Dean Howells Medal, American Academy of Arts and Letters, 2000, all for Underworld; Jerusalem Prize, 2000.
Americana, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1971.
End Zone, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1972.
Great Jones Street, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1973.
Ratner's Star, Knopf (New York, NY), 1976.
Players, Knopf (New York, NY), 1977.
Running Dog, Knopf (New York, NY), 1978.
(Under pseudonym Cleo Birdwell) Amazons: An Intimate Memoir by the First Woman Ever to Play in the National Hockey League, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston (New York, NY), 1980.
The Names, Knopf (New York, NY), 1982.
White Noise, Viking (New York, NY), 1985.
Libra, Viking (New York, NY), 1988, also published as Libra: With a New Introduction by the Author, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Mao II, Viking (New York, NY), 1991.
Underworld, Scribner (New York, NY), 1997, prologue published separately as Pafko at the Wall, 2001.
The Body Artist, Scribner (New York, NY), 2001.
Cosmopolis, Scribner (New York, NY), 2003.
Falling Man: A Novel, Scribner (New York, NY), 2007.
The Day Room (play; produced at American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, MA, 1986), Knopf (New York, NY), 1987.
Valparaiso (play; produced at American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, MA, 1999), Scribner (New York, NY), 1999.
Love-Lies-Bleeding (play), Scribner (New York, NY), 2005.
Also author of play The Engineer of Moonlight, published in Cornell Review, winter, 1979; author of one-minute plays The Rapture of the Athlete Assumed into Heaven, published in Quarterly, 1990, and The Mystery at the Middle of Ordinary Life, published in Zoetrope, winter, 2000. Work included in anthologies Stories from Epoch, edited by Baxter Hathaway, Cornell University Press, 1966; The Secret Life of Our Times, edited by Gordon Lish, Doubleday, 1973; Cutting Edges, edited by Jack Hicks, Holt, 1973; On the Job, edited by William O'Rourke, Random House, 1977; and Great Esquire Fiction, edited by L. Rust Hills, Viking, 1983. Contributor of essay to Novel History: Historians and Novelists Confront America's Past (and Each Other), edited by Mark C. Carnes, Simon & Schuster, 2001; contributor of essays and short stories to periodicals, including Dimensions, New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Conjunctions, Harper's, Grand Street, Paris Review, Esquire, Granta, Sports Illustrated, Kenyon Review, and Rolling Stone.
DeLillo's novels have been adapted as audiobooks.
With each of his novels Don DeLillo has enhanced his literary reputation and gained a wider audience for his carefully crafted prose. He first attracted critical attention in the early 1970s when he published two ambitious and elusive novels about games: End Zone, an existential comedy that parlays football into a metaphor for thermonuclear war, and Ratner's Star, a surrealistic science fiction that is structurally akin to the mathematical formulas it employs. The verbal precision, dazzling intelligence, and sharp wit of these books made DeLillo a critical favorite, "but without bestseller sales figures or a dependable cult following, he has become something of a reviewer's writer," according to R.Z. Sheppard in Time.
DeLillo's 1985 novel White Noise received front-page New York Times Book Review coverage and garnered the National Book Award in fiction that year. His name became even more widely known after Underworld achieved best-seller status in several countries, including the United States. DeLillo's novel Libra is an account of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, John F. Kennedy's assassin. A stunning success—Libra was nominated for the National Book Award and won the newly inaugurated International Fiction Prize from the Irish Times—Walter Clemons in Newsweek dubbed the work "overwhelming."
DeLillo's obsession with language links him to other members of literature's school, including William Gass and John Barth. In his Contemporary Literature interview with Thomas LeClair, DeLillo suggested that after writing End Zone, he realized "that language was a subject as well as an instrument in my work." Later, he elaborated: "What writing means to me is trying to make interesting, clear, beautiful language. Working at sentences and rhythms is probably the most satisfying thing I do as a writer. I think after a while a writer can begin to know himself through his language. He sees someone or something reflected back at him from these constructions. Over the years it's possible for a writer to shape himself as a human being through the language he uses. I think written language, fiction, goes that deep."
While DeLillo's sentiments may have intimidated some readers, they have attracted enthusiastic critics. Rising to his challenge of commitment, reviewers have offered thoughtful interpretations of his complex work, recognizing recurring themes that darken and turn more ominous as the work evolves. The quest in DeLillo's first novel, Americana, involves a disillusioned television executive's search for a national identity. Abandoning his job, producer David Bell embarks on a cross-country odyssey to figure out the soul of America. Even in this early work, DeLillo's obsession with language dominates the narrative: his first-person narrator describes his quest as a "literary venture," using images that compare the western landscape to linguistic patterns on a page. "For years I had been held fast by the great unwinding mystery of this deep sink of land, the thick paragraphs and imposing photos, the gallop of panting adjectives, prairie truth and the clean kills of eagles," says Bell. Americana, like most first novels, was not widely reviewed, but it did attract favorable notice from some established New York critics, who expressed enthusiasm for DeLillo's remarkable verbal gifts.
In DeLillo's second novel, End Zone, the largely plot-less story focuses on the final attempt college athlete Gary Harkness makes to prove himself as a football player in a small west Texas school. Gary, who spends his free time playing war games, is attracted to carefully structured systems of ordered violence that afford opportunities for complete control. Gary's later hunger strike has been interpreted as a final existential attempt to exert control. "He's paring things down. He is struggling, trying to face something he felt had to be faced," DeLillo told LeClair.
The next American milieu DeLillo tackles is the world of rock stars and the drug culture in the novel Great Jones Street. DeLillo turned to the genre of science fiction for his fourth book, Ratner's Star, a pivotal work about a fourteen-year-old mathematical genius and Nobel laureate, Billy Twillig.
Modeled after Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Ratner's Star is comprised of two sections, "Adventures" and "Reflections," that mimic the structural divisions of Carroll's book. "The comic, episodic discontinuous style of the book's first half is reflected in reverse in its symmetrically opposite second part," explained G.M. Knoll in America. He continued, "All that has been asserted or hypothesized about the signals from Ratner's Star is here denied. Billy's assignment is now to assist in the development of a language to answer the star's message rather than decipher the meaning of the signals." DeLillo's goal in this venture, according to Time reviewer Paul Gray, "is to show how the codification of phenomena as practiced by scientists leads to absurdity and madness." In his interview with LeClair, however, DeLillo says that his primary intention was "to produce a book that would be naked structure. The structure would be the book."
Ratner's Star marked a turning point in DeLillo's fiction, according to critics who noted a shift in the pacing and tone of the novelist's subsequent books. Accompanying an accelerated narrative is a noticeable change in the kinds of people DeLillo is writing about. The characters' self-serving quests are not particularly admirable, according to a Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor, who maintained that readers may have a hard time sympathizing with protagonists whose lives are "parables of betrayal and degeneration. The frail, confused youths of the early novels are here displaced by characters influenced by popular espionage fiction."
In Players DeLillo employs a prologue—a sophisticated bit of pure fiction in which the characters are temporarily suspended outside the apparatus of the story—to introduce his themes. Before the narrative starts, DeLillo collects his as-yet-unnamed protagonists on an empty airplane, seating them in the lounge to watch a grisly film. "The Movie," as this prelude is called, depicts an unsuspecting band of Sunday golfers being attacked and murdered by marauding hippies who splatter the scenic green landscape with blood. Without earphones the passengers cannot hear the dialogue, so the pianist improvises silent-movie music to accompany the scene. "The passengers laugh, cheer, clap," noted New York Times Book Review contributor Diane Johnson. "It is the terrorists whom they applaud." When the movie ends, the lights come up and the passengers, now identified as protagonists Lyle and Pammy Wynant and friends, step off the plane and into the story—a tale of terrorists, murder, and wasted lives.
A hip New York couple, Pammy and Lyle are bored to distraction by each other and their jobs. Pammy works as a promotional writer at the Grief Management Council, an organization that "served the community in its efforts to understand and assimilate grief," while Lyle is a stockbroker on Wall Street who spends his free time parked in front of the TV set, flipping channels, not in hopes of finding a good program, but because "he simply enjoyed jerking the dial into fresh image burns."
Pammy moves out, heading off to Maine with a pair of homosexual lovers, one of whom will become her lover and commit suicide, but she will ultimately return home. Lyle takes up with a mindless secretary who is linked to a terrorist group responsible for murdering a man on the stock exchange floor. Intrigued by the glamour of revolutionary violence, Lyle joins forces with the terror- ists but also covers himself by informing on their activities to law enforcement agencies. "The end," noted John Updike in the New Yorker, "finds him in a motel in Canada, having double-crossed everybody but on excellent terms, it seems, with himself." Both he and Pammy have become players in the game.
Noting that DeLillo is that rare kind of novelist who looks "grandly at the whole state of things," Johnson postulated that, "since Freud, we've been used to the way novelists normally present a character: looks normal, is secretly strange and individual. In the first of many inversions of appearance and reality that structure the book, Pammy and Lyle look interesting and seem to do interesting things, but do not interest themselves. The richness is only superficial…. Pammy and Lyle have no history; they are without pasts, were never children, come from nowhere. They worry that they have become too complex to experience things directly and acutely, but the opposite is true. They are being reduced by contemporary reality to numb simplicity, lassitude."
DeLillo followed Players with two psychological thrillers, Running Dog and The Names, the latter of which was praised for its improved characterization. But it was with White Noise that DeLillo most impressed critics with his rendition of fully realized characters in a minimalist prose style. Noting that with each book DeLillo has become increasingly elliptical, Village Voice contributor Albert Mobilio observed that "the distillation is matched by a more subtle and convincing treatment of his characters' inner lives. This broadened emotional vocabulary charges White Noise with a resonance and credibility that makes it difficult to ignore. Critics who have argued that his work is too clever and overly intellectual should take notice: DeLillo's dark vision is now hard-earned. It strikes at both heart and head."
A novel about technology and death, White Noise unfolds as the first-person narrative of Jack Gladney, chair of the department of Hitler studies at a small liberal arts school, College-on-the-Hill. Gladney lives with his fourth wife, Babette—an ample, disheveled woman who teaches an adult education class in posture and reads to the blind—and their four children from previous marriages: Wilder, Steffie, Denise, and Heinrich. Life seems full for the Gladneys, but early on Jack confesses that he and Babette are obsessed with a troubling question: "Who will die first?" Even as they debate it, small signs of trouble begin to surface: the children are evacuated from grade school because of an unidentified toxin in the atmosphere, and Babette's memory is impaired, a side effect of a prescribed medication. One winter day a major chemical spill jeopardizes the whole city. Everyone is forced to evacuate, and on his way to the shelter Jack stops to get gas, inadvertently exposing himself to the toxin. Informed that "anything that puts you in contact with actual emissions means we have a situation," Jack becomes convinced he is dying. (As proof, his computerized health profile spews out "bracketed numbers with pulsing stars.") When Jack discovers Babette's medication—which she has committed adultery to obtain—is an experimental substance said to combat fear of death, he vows to find more of the substance for himself. His quest to obtain the illicit drug at any cost forms the closing chapters of the novel.
Newsweek contributor Walter Clemons wrote that White Noise should win DeLillo "wide recognition, till now only flickeringly granted as one of the best American novelists. Comic and touching, ingenious and weird, White Noise looks, at first, reassuringly like an example of a familiar genre, the campus novel." Clemons went on to note, however, that the novel "tunes us in on frequencies we haven't heard in other accounts of how we live now. Occult supermarket tabloids are joined with TV disaster footage as household staples providing nourishment and febrile attractions. Fleeting appearances or phone calls from the Gladneys' previous spouses give us the start of surprise we experience when we learn that couples we know have a previous family we haven't heard about." Also commenting on DeLillo's depiction of domestic scenes, Jay McInerney wrote in the New Republic that the novelist's "portrait of this postnuclear family is one of the simpler pleasures of this novel." Bert Testa hypothesized in the Toronto Globe and Mail that "White Noise plays off the familiar and the disturbing without ever tipping into the merely grotesque. When DeLillo constantly returns to Jack's quotidian family life, he means his readers to enter a firmly drawn circle that not even a little toxic apocalypse can break."
"The world of Libra is not the modern or technological world that characters in my other novels try to confront," DeLillo explained to New York Times reviewer Herbert Mitgang of his 1988 novel. In Libra the author mixes fact with fiction in a discussion of the events that led to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. He dispels the accepted truth that Kennedy was shot by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, by uncovering information supporting a conspiracy theory acknowledged by some historians. DeLillo spent three years researching and writing about Oswald's life, tracing the assassin's career as a Marxist in the U.S. military and his consequent defection to the USSR and return to the United States. DeLillo surmises that a coterie of underworld and U.S. government figures—enemies of Kennedy—recruited Oswald as a scapegoat for an assassination attempt that should have been botched.
"At what point exactly does fact drift over into fiction?" Anne Tyler asked in her New York Times Book Review critique of Libra. "The book is so seamlessly written that perhaps not even those people who own … copies of the Warren report could say for certain." Richard Eder in the Los Angeles Times Book Review agreed, noting that in the novel "DeLillo disassembles his plots with the finest of jigsaw cuts, scrambles their order and has us reassemble them. As the assorted characters go about their missions, we discern them more by intuition than by perception. The chronology goes back and forth, disorienting us. We do not so much follow what is going on as infiltrate it." Robert Dunn observed in Mother Jones that in his study of the president's assassin DeLillo "has found a story beyond imagination, one whose significance is indisputable and ongoing … and he carefully hews to known facts and approaches all events with respect, even awe. By giving Oswald and the forces he represents full body, DeLillo has written his best novel."
Mao II further solidified DeLillo's place in the leading ranks of contemporary American novelists. The winner of the 1992 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, the novel revolves around a reclusive novelist, Bill Gray, whose first two works made him famous but who has labored for more than twenty years to produce his third novel. Completely hidden from public view on his rural New York estate, Gray has human contact only with his secretary and helper, Scott, and a young woman, Karen, who is coping with the dissolution of her marriage. In typical DeLillo fashion, Karen's was not a standard marriage: the novel's opening scene shows her wedding her husband along with six thousand other couples in a ceremony staged by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon at Yankee Stadium. Convinced that Gray's long-awaited novel will be a failure, Scott urges him not to publish it, arguing that his cult-like celebrity will increase if the novel never appears in print. Gray, however, tiring of his isolation, does something more momentous than publishing his novel: he allows himself to be photographed by Brita, a Swedish photographer.
In Underworld DeLillo paints an encyclopedic portrait of late-twentieth-century American life through the story of accused murderer Nick Shay, as Shay's path collides with great moments of history, including the 1951 ball game in which the Giants won the pennant. Michiko Kakutani reviewed Underworld admiringly in the New York Times, calling it a "remarkable" tale of "the effluvia of modern life, all the detritus of our daily and political lives" that has been "turned into a dazzling, phosphorescent work of art." Like most of DeLillo's novels, time is not a straight trajectory in Underworld, and a current of conspiracy, paranoia, and terrorism weaves through the story. This technique brings the alienated protagonist in close contact with events that define his century, including the political suspense of the Cold War. In a review for the New York Times, Martin Amis claimed that Underworld "may or may not be a great novel," but added: "there is no doubt that … DeLillo is a great novelist." Noting that nuclear war is the central theme of the book, Amis added that Underworld's "main actors are psychological ‘down-winders,’ victims of the fallout from all the blasts—blasts actual and imagined."
Coming on the heels of the impressive Underworld, The Body Artist reinforced the belief held by many critics that DeLillo is not a writer to traverse the same path more than once. The Body Artists opens to the breakfast-table rambling of married couple Lauren and Rey; only later in the book do readers learn that Rey has committed suicide that same day. The rest of the novel focuses on Lauren, a performance artist who creates different characters by transforming her physical self. Grieving over Rey, she withdraws and becomes housebound, then begins to hear noises. Finally she discovers a strange, diminutive man, Mr. Tucker, who has the strange ability to repeat back to her the last rambling conversations between Lauren and her husband. Who Mr. Tucker is—a real, perhaps mentally disturbed person or a figment of Lauren's overwrought imaginings—is purposefully never made clear, DeLillo's central purpose to cause readers to reflect on "the fragility of identity, the nature of time, the way the words we employ in the face of death have become … worn to the point of transparency," according to Newsweek contributor Malcolm Jones. "Like all DeLillo's fiction," added a Publishers Weekly contributor, The Body Artist "offers a vision of contemporary life that expresses itself most clearly in how the story is told." While an Economist contributor found the novel as "slight as a blade of grass," Donna Seaman praised the challenging work in Booklist, noting, "Each sentence is like a formula that must be solved, and each paragraph adds up to unexpected disclosures regarding our sense of time, existence, identity, and connection."
More compressed in time than The Body Artist, Cosmopolis takes place for the most part inside a stretch limousine belonging to wealthy, twenty-something, and less-than-likeable financier Eric Packer. Packer's trip across town to the barber is thwarted by traffic snarls into an all-day excursion, forcing the mildly paranoid Packer to turn to his in-car computer to track his financial wheelings and dealings, teleconference with clients and lackeys, and make brief excursions from the limo to eat, shop, take in the sights of midtown Manhattan, and even commit murder. While the movement of Packer's limo is "glacial," according to an Economist contributor, Cosmopolis, "with Mr. DeLillo at the wheel, zooms along, blowing up great billowing clouds of rhetorical dust … full of wordy ruminations on the relationship between technology and capitalism."
Critics responded with characteristic vigor to Cosmopolis, although the novel, DeLillo's thirteenth, was not treated with overwhelming kindness. "There is no real plot," bemoaned Spectator contributor Peter Dempsey, "there are no fully rounded characters nor any character development, and though the novel ends dramatically, there is no sense of a conventionally satisfying conclusion." Noting that such expectations on the part of many critics are intentionally unmet by DeLillo, Dempsey described Cosmopolis as "a meditation on various kinds of speculation, most importantly financial and philosophical," that, as a work of fiction, "is redeemed by its beguiling structure and the cool intensity of its compelling descriptions of New York City." "Where did DeLillo lose me exactly?" Richard Lacayo queried in Time. "It may have been the scene in which Packer gets a digital rectal exam in his parked limousine while he chats with … his chief of finance. I like surrealism too, but sometimes I wish they would keep it in France." In contrast, Review of Contemporary Fiction critic Robert L. McLaughlin stayed the course, writing that the author "has captured the essence of a particular American moment," and ranked the novel as "a beautiful and brilliant book." "One senses that DeLillo continues to challenge himself," wrote Kyle Minor in Antioch Review, "and the result is a mature work of fiction, greatly satisfying."
In 2005 DeLillo published his third play, Love-Lies-Bleeding. In the play, an artist named Alex persists in a vegetative state after his second stroke. His son and ex-wife travel to his home in the desert to convince his current wife to let him die. John Leonard, reviewing the book in Harper's, called the play "a philosophical romance rooted in the tactile, textured and landscaped from shoe trees, shopping carts, and painted caves to larkspur, mariposa, and Apache plume." M.C. Duhig, writing in Library Journal, noted, "DeLillo has become increasingly confident as a dramatist, and we can only hope that he continues his endeavors in this genre."
In his 2007 novel, Falling Man: A Novel, DeLillo presents his story of one man and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. For DeLillo, the attacks hit close to home, as he told Malcolm Jones for an article in Newsweek: "When the second tower went down, I punched the wall. My nephew and his wife and two kids were in an apartment building very near the towers…. They were trapped, and they eventually were rescued. Somehow, before that, we managed to make phone contact with them. But I didn't remember any of the phone conversation afterward. I do remember that smoke was beginning to seep through the fire doors of their building."
Noting that the cover of DeLillo's 1998 novel Underworld "seemed prescient" in its depiction of the upper part of the towers disappearing "into otherworldly mist," Ken Kalfus on the Time Out New York Web site went on to write: "A lone hovering seagull reminds us that the buildings belong to the sky and are vulnerable to it. In Falling Man, an emotionally minimalist drama about a 9/11 survivor, the towers shift from prophecy to bitter history."
DeLillo's vision for the novel originated with a single scene. The author told Jones: "It began with a visual image of a man in a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase walking through an enormous storm of smoke and ash…. And that's all there was." The man in the novel is Keith Neudecker, a lawyer nearing forty who barely escapes being killed in the terrorist attacks on New York. Although he is estranged from his wife, Lianne, due to his philandering, he goes to her straight from the fallen towers and carrying a briefcase that someone handed him on the way out of the North Tower. Although Keith and Lianne resume their marriage, Keith sets out to find the owner of the briefcase. When he finds the woman, also a survivor of the disaster, he starts an affair with little or no meaning to him. Keith also resumes gambling as the events of 9/11 hover over the family. Blade contributor Christopher Borrelli wrote that "their [Keith and Lianne's] children scan the skies for more planes; while the hijackers of those planes appear in flashbacks, hidden in a quiet Florida community, wondering if they should stop, or sneer at ‘this world of lawns to water and hardware stacked on endless shelves.’"
Also on hand to remind everyone of the tragic event is the "Falling Man" himself. Named David Janiak, the performance artist pops up around the city wearing a suit and tie and hanging upside down from various structures. "His presence across New York unnerves the inhabitants, who recently have seen far too many people falling from tall buildings," commented Steven E. Alford in the Houston Chronicle. "He is, though, but one of those falling in this novel." As the novel progresses, and various characters struggle to hang on to some meaning in their lives, Keith and Lianne's marriage begins to fall apart and they end up as isolated as they were at the beginning of the story.
Although the novel is primarily about life post-9/11, several reviewers noted the author's accomplished description of the attack itself. "He is unequaled as a phrasemaker, and so the writer who gave us, in White Noise, the ‘airborne toxic event’ here gives us ‘organic shrapnel,’ which he defines as ‘human flesh that got driven into the skin,’" wrote Tom Junod in Esquire. "He gives us, as a portrait of the North Tower's lingering facade, the ‘strands of bent filigree that were the last standing things.’" Commenting on the book's opening scene of the crumbling towers, Blade contributor Borrelli wrote: "To call the writing gorgeous may brush aside the pain, but the visceral shock of the attack itself shares space with a tone so hushed and haunted, it resonates with hints of every fresh hell that would come later."
Many reviewers noted the difficulty of writing a novel about the terrorist attacks and the effects it had on people's psyches. "Today 9/11 carries so many burdens—of interpretation, of sentimentality, of politics, of war—that sometimes it's hard to find the rubble of the actual event beneath the layers of edifice we've built on top of it," noted Frank Rich in the New York Times Book Review. Nevertheless, most reviewers wrote that DeLillo is among the first to provide a true literary look at the attacks and their aftermath. "No one has come as close to piercing its heart as Don DeLillo with Falling Man, his best book since 1997's Underworld, and maybe his warmest ever," noted Jennifer Reese in Entertainment Weekly. Sam Leith wrote in the Spectator: "Falling Man is not simply the story of how catastrophe can rekindle human connections. It rather tells the complicated story of how people try to come together, and half succeed, and then fall apart from each other again."
As with his other books, DeLillo also received high praise for his writing style. "DeLillo's prose has always had the quality of seeming stunned by the world, vitrified into shards of glassy perfection by the sheer force of light bouncing off people and things," wrote Steven Poole in the New Statesman. "A style often taken as deliberately remote or studiedly cool, it seems almost the opposite, a function of exquisite sensitivity."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 8, 1978, Volume 10, 1979, Volume 13, 1980, Volume 27, 1984, Volume 39, 1986, Volume 54, 1989, Volume 76, 1993.
DeLillo, Don, Americana, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1971.
DeLillo, Don, Players, Knopf (New York, NY), 1977.
DeLillo, Don, White Noise, Viking (New York, NY), 1985.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 6: American Novelists since World War II, Second Series, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1980.
Hantke, Steffen, Conspiracy and Paranoia in Contemporary American Fiction: The Works of Don DeLillo and Joseph McElroy, P. Lang (New York, NY), 1994.
Jackson, Thomas DePietro, editor, Conversations with Don DeLillo, University of Mississippi, 2005.
LeClair, Tom, In the Loop: Don DeLillo and the Systems Novel, University of Illinois Press, 1988.
Lentricchia, Frank, Introducing Don DeLillo, Duke University Press, 1991.
Lentricchia, Frank, editor, New Essays on White Noise, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1991.
Osteen, Mark, American Magic and Dread: Don DeLillo's Dialogue with Culture, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.
Ruppersburg, Hugh M., and Tim Engles, editors, Critical Essays on Don DeLillo, G.K. Hall (New York, NY), 2000.
America, August 7, 1976, Gerald M. Knoll, review of Ratner's Star.
Antioch Review, summer, 2003, Kyle Minor, review of Cosmopolis, p. 581.
Atlantic, February, 1985, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of White Noise, p. 100.
Blade (Toledo, OH), June 17, 2007, Christopher Borrelli, "A Master Tries to Fill the Emptiness of 9/11."
Booklist, October 1, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of The Body Artist, p. 292; December 1, 2002, Donna Seaman, review of Cosmopolis, p. 628; December 1, 2005, Donna Seaman, review of Love-Lies-Bleeding, p. 14; April 1, 2007, Jeanne Wilkinson, review of Falling Man: A Novel, p. 5.
Books, May 13, 2007, "A Powerful Take on 9/11 and Its Aftermath," p. 4; June 2, 2007, Kristin Kloberdanz, review of Falling Man, p. 7.
Bookseller, April 27, 2007, review of Falling Man, p. 11; May 18, 2007, "Breaking the Fall: Don DeLillo's Latest Clinches Most Reviews," p. 45.
Book World, April 1, 2007, review of Falling Man, p. 8; May 13, 2007, "Survivors of 9/11 Struggle to Live in a Changed World," p. 15.
Christian Century, May 2, 2001, Gordon Houser, review of The Body Artist, p. 27.
Christian Science Monitor, May 29, 2007, review of Falling Man, p. 13.
Columbus Dispatch, May 13, 2007, "Tragedy Changed More than Cityscape."
Commonweal, August 9, 1991, Mark Feeney, review of Mao II, pp. 490-491.
Contemporary Literature, winter, 1982, Tom LeClair, "An Interview with Don DeLillo," pp. 19-31; fall, 2006, "Don DeLillo's Latin Mass."
Daily Variety, February 8, 2006, "Steppenwolf Theater in Chi Will Mount the World Preem of Don DeLillo's ‘Love-Lies-Bleeding,’" p. 5.
Economist (U.S.), February 17, 2001, review of The Body Artist, p. 8; April 19, 2003, review of Cosmopolis.
Editor & Publisher, May 26, 2007, Greg Mitchell, review of Falling Man.
Entertainment Weekly, April 11, 2003, Chris Nashawaty, "Prophet Statement," interview, p. 48; April 18, 2003, Ken Tucker, review of Cosmopolis, p. 72; May 18, 2007, Jennifer Reese, "‘Falling’ Awake," p. 69.
Esquire, February, 2000, Sven Birkerts, review of The Body Artist, p. 38; June, 2007, Tom Junod, "The Man Who Invented 9/11: Don DeLillo Has Been Writing Novels about Crowds and Mass Isolation for Four Decades. So What Happens When Life Catches up with His Fiction?," p. 38.
Financial Post, November 1, 1997, Allan Hepburn, review of Underworld, p. 28.
Financial Times, May 12, 2007, "Afterworld: Many Novels Have Tackled 9/11, but Don DeLillo Calls on His Recurrent Themes to Make His New Work, ‘Falling Man,’ the Most Powerful Yet," p. 30.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), March 9, 1985, Bart Testa, review of White Noise.
Harper's, December, 1982, Frances Taliaferro, review of The Names, p. 70; June, 1999, Jonathan Dee, review of Libra, p. 76; January, 2006, John Leonard, review of Love-Lies-Bleeding, p. 81; July, 2007, "After the Fall: Don DeLillo without His Towers," p. 91.
Houston Chronicle, May 13, 2007, Steven E. Alford, "A World on the Edge; Don DeLillo's New Novel Focuses on the Aftershocks of 9/11," p. 19.
Hudson Review, summer, 1999, Richard Hornby, review of Valparaiso, p. 287.
Journal of Men's Studies, fall, 1999, Donald L. Deardorff II, "Dancing in the End Zone: Don DeLillo, Men's Studies, and the Quest for Linguistic Healing," p. 73.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2003, review of Cosmopolis, p. 8; April 1, 2007, review of Falling Man.
Law and Literature, summer, 2007, "Writing and Terror: Don Delillo on the Task of Literature after 9/11."
Library Journal, January, 1988, Thomas E. Luddy, review of The Day Room, p. 96; January 1, 2001, Mirela Roncevic, review of The Body Artist, p. 152l; December, 2002, Edward B. St. John, review of Cosmopolis, p. 176; November 15, 2005, M.C. Duhig, review of Love-Lies-Bleeding, p. 67; May 15, 2007, Anna Katterjohn, review of Falling Man, p. 79.
London Review of Books, July 5, 2007, "Alzheimer's America," p. 19.
Los Angeles Times, July 29, 1984, Charles Champlin, "The Heart Is a Lonely Craftsman," p. 7; August 12, 1988; October 8, 1997, David L. Ulin, "Merging Myth and Mystery," p. E1; December 14, 1997, Richard Eder, review of Underworld, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, November 7, 1982, Charles Champlin, review of The Names, p. 3; January 13, 1985, Richard Eder, review of White Noise, p. 1; July 31, 1988, Richard Eder, review of Libra; June 9, 1991, p. 3.
Maclean's, August 29, 1988, Lenny Glynn, review of Libra, p. 50.
Modern Fiction Studies, summer, 1994, review of Mao II, p. 229; spring, 2007, "From Virtue to Virtual: DeLillo's Cosmopolis and the Corruption of the Absent Body."
Mosaic, June, 2006, Leonard Wilcox, "Terrorism and Art: Don DeLillo's Mao II and Jean Baudrillard's The Spirit of Terrorism," p. 89.
Mother Jones, September, 1988, Robert Dunn, review of Libra, p. 50.
Nation, September 17, 1977; October 18, 1980, J.D. O'Hara, review of Amazons: An Intimate Memoir by the First Woman Ever to Play in the National Hockey League, p. 385; December 11, 1982, J.D. O'Hara, review of The Names, p. 630; February 2, 1985, Thomas M. Disch, review of White Noise, p. 120; September 19, 1988, John Leonard, review of Libra, p. 205; May 28, 2007, John Leonard, review of Falling Man, p. 18.
National Review, August 13, 2007, "After the Fall," p. 46.
New Republic, October 7, 1978; November 22, 1982; February 4, 1985, Jay McInerney, review of White Noise; July 2, 2007, "Black Noise," p. 47.
New Statesman, May 14, 2007, "In the Shadow of the Towers: The World Trade Center Haunted Don DeLillo's Writing for Three Decades. Now He Draws a Stunned, Allusive Novel from Its Destruction," p. 54.
Newsweek, October 25, 1982, Gene Lyons, review of The Names, p. 117; January 21, 1985, Walter Clemons, review of White Noise, p. 69; August 15, 1988, Walter Clemons, review of Libra, p. 59; January 15, 2001, Malcolm Jones, review of The Body Artist, p. 61; May 14, 2007, Malcolm Jones, "Up from the Ashes; There Have Been Countless Books and Movies Inspired by September 11. Don DeLillo's Novel ‘Falling Man’ Is the First Work That Qualifies as Art," p. 72.
New York, May 14, 2007, "Code Red: Don DeLillo, the Literary Master of the Terrorist's Imagination, Reaches for the Ultimate Subject," p. 75.
New Yorker, March 27, 1978, John Updike, review of Players; April 4, 1983, review of The Names, p. 132; September 15, 1997, David Remnick, "Exile on Main Street," pp. 42-48.
New York Review of Books, March 14, 1985, Diane Johnson, review of White Noise, p. 6; June 27, 1991, Robert Towers, review of Mao II, pp. 17-18; February 22, 2001, John Leonard, review of The Body Artist, p. 14; June 28, 2007, "Racing against Reality," p. 4.
New York Times, September 16, 1980, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of Amazons, p. 12; October 12, 1982, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of The Names, p. 25; January 7, 1985, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, review of White Noise, p. 15; December 20, 1987, Mervyn Rothstein, "A Novelist Faces His Themes on New Ground. (Don DeLillo and The Day Room)," p. H5; December 21, 1987, Frank Rich, review of The Day Room, p. 16; July 19, 1988, Herbert Mitgang, "Reanimating Oswald, Ruby et al. in a Novel about Assassination. (Don DeLillo, author of ‘Libra.’)," p. 15; September 24, 1989, "Don DeLillo Wins Irish Fiction Prize. (International Fiction Prize)," p. 74; September 16, 1997, Michiko Kakutani, review of Underworld, p. E1; September 10, 1998, David Firestone, "Reticent Novelist Talks Baseball, Not Books," p. B2; February 24, 1999, Peter Marks, "Ticket Mix-up Brings Fifteen Minutes of Fame," p. E1.
New York Times Book Review, September 4, 1977, Diane Johnson, review of Players; October 10, 1982, Robert R. Harris, "A Talk with Don DeLillo," p. 23; January 13, 1985, Caryn James, "I Never Set out to Write an Apocalyptic Novel," p. 31; June 24, 1988, Anne Tyler, review of Libra; October 5, 1997, Martin Amis, review of Underworld, p. 12; December 7, 1997, review of Underworld, p. 95; July 24, 1998, Kim Heron, "Haunted by His Book," p. 23; May 27, 2007, Frank Rich, "The Clear Blue Sky," p. 1.
New York Times Magazine, May 19, 1991, Vince Passaro, "Dangerous Don DeLillo," pp. 36-38, 76-77.
O, the Oprah Magazine, June, 2007, "After the Fall: DeLillo's Wrenchingly Beautiful Novel of 9/11," p. 156.
Publishers Weekly, August 19, 1988, William Goldstein, "Don DeLillo; ‘Libra,’ His Ninth Novel, Is both a Culmination and a Departure for the Acclaimed Writer," p. 55; November 20, 2000, review of The Body Artist, p. 43; December 9, 2002, review of Cosmopolis, p. 58; March 26, 2007, review of Falling Man, p. 66.
Review of Contemporary Fiction, spring, 2001, David Seed, review of The Body Artist, p. 189; summer, 2003, Robert L. McLaughlin, review of Cosmopolis, p. 120.
San Francisco Chronicle, March 5, 2006, John Freeman, "Q&A: Don DeLillo."
Spectator, June 7, 2003, Peter Dempsey, review of Cosmopolis, p. 38; May 19, 2007, Sam Leith, "After the Fall."
Time, June 7, 1976, Paul Gray, review of Ratner's Star; November 8, 1982, J.D. Reed, review of The Names, K26; January 21, 1985, R.Z. Sheppard, review of White Noise, p. 71; August 1, 1988, Paul Gray, review of Libra, p. 68; June 10, 1991, Paul Gray, review of Mao II, p. 68; April 21, 2003, Richard Lacayo, review of Cosmopolis, p. 74.
TLS: Times Literary Supplement, May 18, 2007, "Moments of Truth," p. 21.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), July 31, 1988, review of Libra, p. 1; June 23, 1991, review of Mao II, pp. 1, 4.
USA Today, May 15, 2007, Bob Minzesheimer, review of Falling Man, p. 7.
Vanity Fair, September, 1997, David Kamp, "DeLillo's Home Run," pp. 202-204.
Variety, March 1, 1999, Markland Taylor, review of Valparaiso, p. 93; June 26, 2006, "Love-Lies-Bleeding," p. 39.
Village Voice, April 30, 1985, Albert Mobilio, review of White Noise.
Wall Street Journal, June 13, 1991, review of Mao II, p. A14; September 26, 1997, James Bowman, review of Underworld, p. A20.
Washington Post Book World, January 13, 1985, Jonathan Yardley, review of White Noise, p. BW3; July 31, 1988; May 26, 1991, pp. 1-2; May 14, 1992, David Streitfeld, "Don DeLillo's Gloomy Muse," p. C1; November 11, 1997, David Streitfeild, "Don DeLillo's Hidden Truths," p. D1.
World and I, October, 2001, Linda Simon, "Voice from a Silent Landscape," p. 253.
Art and Culture,http://www.artandculture.com/ (December 9, 2007), profile of author.
Book Reporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (December 9, 2007), "Don DeLillo," biography of author.
Books and Writers,http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/ (December 9, 2007), "Don DeLillo," profile of author.
Don DeLillo Society,http://www.k-state.edu/english/nelp/delillo/ (December 9, 2007).
Guardian Unlimited Web site,http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (December 9, 2007), "Don Delillo (1936)," facts about author.
Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (December 9, 2007), Laura Miller, review of Underworld.
Simon & Schuster,http://www.simonsays.com/ (December 9, 2007), brief biography of author.
Slate.com,http://www.slate.com/ (December 29, 2007), Meghan O'Rourke, "Debating ‘Falling Man’; Artistic Reactions to Sept. 11 and Other World-Changing Events."
Time Out New York,http://www.timeout.com/ (May 3, 2007), Ken Kalfus, review of Falling Man.