Readers of Thomas Wolfe's Autobiographical Outline will better understand how his first and most widely read novel, Look Homeward, Angel, came into being. Superbly edited and annotated by Lucy Conniff and Richard S. Kennedy, this vibrant document records a young writer's determination to forge art from the details of his life, providing an unparalleled view of a novelist's mind at work. "Everything I write is immensely flavored with me," Wolfe stated. "The look about me will be transmuted and recreated in writing." Reflected here are Wolfe's sprawling talent and his fascination with psychoanalysis. He begins with his conception and birth and goes on to describe first impressions of home, his growing acquaintance with language, school experiences, his sometimes explosive father and neglectful mother, his college years, and finally graduate study of the Romantic poets and playwriting. He makes a climatic discovery about his creative life as he notes the Harvard years, locating the principal theme for his novel and the symbol to express it -- "the unfound door." Conniff and Kennedy have assembled an exceptional work that allows readers to observe how random jottings evolved into the story of Eugene Gant growing up in Altamont, North Carolina, at the beginning of the twentieth century.