Thomas Clayton Wolfe (1900-1938) was an important American novelist of the 20th century. He wrote four lengthy novels, plus many short stories, dramatic works, and novel fragments. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodical, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. His books, written during the Great Depression, depict the variety and diversity of American culture. He received his Masters in playwriting at Harvard University. Unable to sell any of his plays, Wolfe found his writing style was more suited to fiction than to the stage. He took a temporary job teaching at New York University, but left after a year for Europe to continue writing. Look Homeward, Angel (1929) is the edited version of Wolfe's original novel O Lost. After his death, two further novels, The Web and the Rock (1939) and You Can't Go Home Again (1940) were published posthumously. His other works include: Of Time and the River (1935), The Story of a Novel (1936) and The Face of a Nation (1939).
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About the Author
A larger than life figure -- like his contemporary, Ernest Hemingway -- Thomas Wolfe embodied a particularly American vision of the restless and eager writer, taking in the totality of his life experience and turning it into a gigantic, unwieldy vision in prose. With the publication of his semiautobiographical Look Homeward, Angel in 1929, Wolfe announced his dramatic entrance on the stage of modern fiction; but an early death made his exit sadly premature.
Date of Birth:October 3, 1900
Date of Death:September 15, 1938
Place of Birth:Asheville, North Carolina
Place of Death:Baltimore, Maryland
Education:B.A., University of North Carolina, 1920; M.A., Harvard University, 1922; further graduate study, 1923