School for Children

School for Children alumnus receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Posted by Carla Scheele on April 30, 2014

D.T. (Daniel) MaxBank Street School for Children alumnus D.T. (Daniel) Max SFC ‘75, author of The Family That Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery (2006), and Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace (2012), was one of 178 scholars, artists and scientists to receive a 2014 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The fellows were announced on April 10.

Max is a graduate of Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker. The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation noted on their website that his first book was “at once a piece of science journalism and a point of entry to explore what it means to be sick in a well world.” In his David Foster Wallace biography, Max “sought to give Wallace's life and work its full due, to depict a secular saint in a compromised world.” They also noted that Michiko Kakutani ,in The New York Times, included it as one of her Top Ten Books of the Year, and the Times of London praised it as “tremendous, a supremely understated and magnificently comprehensive life of a remarkable writer.”

Max was a student at Bank Street when it was, in fact, on Bank Street, and made the transition uptown when the West  112th Street building was completed in 1970. "Bank Street was absolutely my formation as a writer and a learner," he says. "Whatever good habits I might have in terms of curiosity come directly from the teachers there, who they were, and what they understood education to be." Max lives in Montclair, NJ, with his wife, their two children and a rescued beagle who also came to them named Max.

Max was inspired to write about one of his Bank Street teachers, Mrs. Sue Monell, who guided him through grades 1 through 3, in a paean to great teachers that was published on The New York Times op-ed page in 2001.