Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Tributes Pour In For Tom Wolfe

Author Tom Wolfe attends the 2012 Trophee Des Arts Gala at The Plaza Hotel on Nov. 30 2012 in New York City Author Tom Wolfe attends the 2012 Trophee Des Arts Gala at The Plaza Hotel on Nov. 30 2012 in New York City
Gerardo Duncan | 16 May, 2018, 15:11

New Journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe, who wrote The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, died of pneumonia in a NY hospital at age 88, according to Variety. Wolfe, had been hospitalized with an infection and died Monday, according to his agent Lynn Nesbit.

Tom Wolfe was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1930.

Wolfe worked as a reporter at the Springfield Union in MA and as the Latin American correspondent for the Washington Post. He later left for Washington, then New York, arriving there in 1962 to work for The New York Herald Tribune.

He was present at the birth of what was known as "new journalism", a loose style that featured lots of dialogue and detail and allowed reporters to narrate and develop characters in a way more often associated with fiction. From 1965 to 1981 Mr. Wolfe produced nine nonfiction books.

The Right Stuff, Wolfe's 1979 account of the early days of the US space program and the test pilots recruited for it, remains his best-selling work. "They should have gotten a job at a butcher's shop", said Gay Talese. "He goes out and writes a best-selling novel". His novels "The Right Stuff" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities" both became major Hollywood films in 1983 and 1990 respectfully, Wolfe also wrote 1998's Almost Heroes with the late Chris Farley.

Brian De Palma's 1990 adaptation of "The Bonfire of the Vanities", meanwhile, was a notorious flop - though its 16 percent RottenTomatoes score still tops that of "Almost Heroes". He published The Kingdom of Speech, which elicited controversy over his criticism of Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky's works in 2016. He is remembered for his sense of humor and his penchant for needling sacred cows. He'd never leave the city, making a home there with his wife Sheila and their two children until his death.

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