Tom Wolfe, Best-Selling Author and Innovative Journalist, Dies at 88

by Wade Massey May 16, 2018, 8:02
Tom Wolfe, Best-Selling Author and Innovative Journalist, Dies at 88

According to the New York Times, his deal was confirmed by his agent, Lynn Nesbit, who said Mr. Wolfe had been hospitalized with an infection. As a result of his creative experiments on this trip and under the influence of the impressions in 1965 appeared the first book in the "new journalism" - Konfederasyonu apersonality streamlined baby. The film version of "The Right Stuff", about the Mercury Seven astronauts, was directed by Philip Kaufman in 1983.

He was never deterred by the fact that he often did not fit in with his research subjects, partly because he was such a sartorial dandy, known for his white suits. "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", an account of his reportorial travels in California with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters as they spread the gospel of LSD, remains a classic chronicle of the counterculture, "still the best account - fictional or non, in print or on film - of the genesis of the sixties hipster subculture", press critic Jack Shafer wrote in the Columbia Journalism Review on the book's 40th anniversary.

Wolfe began his writing career as a newspaper reporter, first for the Washington Post and then for the New York Herald Tribune.

The book tells the story of a top scholar, athlete and writer who becomes a fugitive after introducing powerful new hallucinogenic drugs to the world.

The editor of the New York Times described Wolfe's passing as the "passing of an era".

He was a trailblazer in the hard-living, neon-lit prose that came to be known as "New Journalism" alongside his contemporaries, including Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, George Plimpton, Norman Mailer and Truman Capote.

He then moved onto his first work of fiction, "The Bonfire of the Vanities" a seminal tale of 1980s NY involving the a Wall Street banker, a Bronx high school student, and a tabloid reporter.

It followed the greed, racism and social classes of New York City in the 1980s.

Wolfe won the Bad Sex in Fiction prize in 2004 for I Am Charlotte Simmons and was also shortlisted in 2012 for Back to Blood.

Wolfe complained that novelists did not bring enough reality to their books, and while bemoaning the state of American literature, offered himself as an exemplar of what it should be. John Irving angrily denounced Wolfe by saying, "I can't read him because he's such a bad writer". Wolfe was instantly recognizable in his trademark white suit, which he started wearing nearly year round in 1962.

Born in Richmond, Va., Wolfe attended Washington and Lee University and went on to get his PhD at Yale before becoming a reporter.


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