Attempting to pick one from among Chilly Gonzales's many identities—pianist, rapper, entertainer, supervillain—distracts from enjoying his eccentricity in full. The 40-year-old, born Jason Beck, humbly suggests another take: "musical genius," a half-joking honorific that is now being seriously considered by critical latecomers, much to the vindication of the performer and his fans.
With the new biography Every Love Story is a Ghost Story, D.T. Max reprises his role as literary docent to the David Foster Wallace estate. Calling on firsthand accounts from some of his most intimate relationships, spanning video store clerks to seasonal flings, the biography fills in the honeycomb of Wallace's life with abiding sensitivity and spirit.