Don DeLillo (born November 20, 1936) is an award-winning American author, playwright, and essayist. His works have covered subjects as diverse as television, nuclear war, sports, the complexities of language, performance art, the Cold War, mathematics, the advent of the digital age, and global terrorism.
"The White Noise that is the title of the book is the result of the data smog being piped into the lives of the characters through the novel. This static keeps them from ever living their life. They do what the static tells them they should."
"White Noise" is the story of a college professor and his family whose fictional Midwestern town is evacuated after an industrial accident. It shows how Jack Gladney is the ultimate buffoon who lives his life in denial of both life and death.
"What makes disasters so fascinating, so thrilling, so involving? White Noise, to the extent that it is a story about a disaster, “an airborne toxic event,” is a symptom of the culture of calamity."
A family is gathered together on a Friday night, eating Chinese takeout, watching TV. All eyes are riveted on the screen, taking in image after image of “floods, earthquakes, mud slides, erupting volcanoes.” “Every disaster made us wish for more, for something bigger, grander, more sweeping,” states Professor Jack Gladney.
"The Angel Esmeralda" traces the arc of American life over the last three decades. In many ways, the collection is a return to DeLillo's own beginnings. Short stories were actually the first form of literature that he began writing.
The Angel Esmeralda explores themes of isolation and loneliness, which DeLillo attributes in part to the nature of his lifestyle as a writer. "A writer spends so much of his or her time alone in a room," he explains.
DeLillo often interweaves historical facts with fictional characters in his writing. His themes include the excesses of consumerism, mass culture, and politics in American society.
DeLillo solidified his literary reputation with his novel, Libra. The novel is a fictionalized biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
"Another author might write a novel because he has found himself possessed by a character, a setting, a single line of dialogue that resonates in his mind and demands he listen. Not Don DeLillo. Most of his novels were born out of a preoccupation with a single theme...contemporary American society is the worst enemy."
Some critics argue that being human to DeLillo means to be a primitive beast. By living in modern America, Americans are furthest from their true selves.