Monday, 28 May, 2018

Author Tom Wolfe dies aged 88

Deborah Feingold  Corbis via Getty Images Deborah Feingold Corbis via Getty Images
Nicole Thomas | 15 May, 2018, 23:40

Among his acclaimed books were The Right Stuff and The Bonfire Of The Vanities, a satire of Manhattan-style power and justice that became one of the best-selling books of the Eighties.

Wolfe, 88, had been hospitalized with an infection and died Monday, according to his agent Lynn Nesbit.

A pioneer of what came to be called "New Journalism", Wolfe practiced saturation reporting and would shadow his subjects for long periods. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1951 and later received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1957.

Before moving to NY in the 60s, Wolfe worked as a reporter at the Springfield Union in MA and as the Latin American correspondent for The Washington Post.

While the stories have no connecting theme, this is the first book that gave early examples of New Journalism.

Wolfe revealed in a 2016 interview with The Telegraph of London that he wrote the vivid account of tripping on acid without ever dropping a tab. "I felt it was really far too unsafe to take a chance -- and they didn't try to pressure me".

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"His work changed my life and convinced me to write nonfiction", bestselling writer Susan Orlean wrote of Wolfe in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

Over the next decade, he would publish "Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catcher", "The Painted Word" and "The New Journalism".

The prolific author was known for both his fiction and nonfiction works and rose to fame for his essays and bold arguments coupled with rigorous reporting, climaxing with the book "The Right Stuff" in 1979.

The Bonfire of The Vanities by Tom Wolfe.

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

Wolfe is survived by his wife and two children.

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