Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Tom Wolfe, prolific journalist and author, dead at 87

Tom Wolfe, author and journalist, dies at 87 Legendary Author Tom Wolfe Dead At 87
Freda Brock | 15 May, 2018, 23:05

According to his agent, Wolfe died in Manhattan on Monday, May 14 after being hospitalized for an infection. "He was one of the greats and his words will live on forever".

Wolfe became a major figure in the NY social scene, identified with his distinct personal style - typified by a white, 3-piece suit.

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.

His first book, a collection of articles about the flamboyant Sixties, was published in 1965 as "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby". Wolfe was associated with other New Journalism writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion and Truman Capote.

His books included The Right Stuff and Bonfires of the Vanities.

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It was made into a Hollywood hit starring Sam Shepard and made the Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, a household name.

Published in 1987, it became one of the best-selling books of the decade and has often been called the quintessential novel of the era.

A scathing takedown of greed and excess in NY, it was recognized as an essential American novel of the 1980s and was made into a film starring Tom Hanks. He then attended Yale, where he earned a Ph.D.in American Studies.

Wolfe followed with "I Am Charlotte Simmons" which recounts the tale of an ambitious girl from a family of modest means in the rural south as she navigates the social and academic world of an elite East Coast university. It was also manhandled in the critical press, with London-based Literary Review awarding Wolfe with its 2004 Bad Sex in Fiction Award, which recognizes bad sex scenes in literature.

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