Tom Wolfe's high-wire act of language has provided a sort of cultural funhouse mirror ever since he started publishing in the mid-1960s, first as a journalist and later as the acclaimed author of novels The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full. Wolfe occasionally raises hackles, and he always provokes a response.
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Also Known As:
Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr. (full name)
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
March 2, 1931
Place of Birth:
B.A. (cum laude), Washington and Lee University, 1951; Ph.D. in American Studies, Yale University, 1957
National Book Award for The Right Stuff, 1980
Tom Wolfe's official web site
|The Best Book to Read First|
|Bonfire of the Vanities|
Wolfe's now-classic first novel created a stir when it was released for its funny, searing depiction of the '80s go-go financial atmosphere and the Masters of the Universe who perpetuated it.
Read an excerpt
|Defining the Early '60s||Award-Winning Nonfiction|
|The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby|
"Verdict: Excellent book by a genius who will do anything to get attention," wrote Kurt Vonnegut of Wolfe's debut collection, a series of New Journalist pieces on American trends written in the author's vertiginous, rapid-fire style.
|The Right Stuff|
Wolfe's exciting account of the rocket airplane experiments of the post-World War II era and the early space program won the National Book Award and was eventually made into the successful 1983 movie starring Ed Harris and Sam Shepard. Business author Jim Collins lists it among his favorites: "He just nailed the psychology of the test pilot. One of the few books I’ve read more than once."
|Photo by Mark Seliger||