Monday, 19 November, 2018

The Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe dies aged 87

Trail-blazing journalist & writer of The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities Tom Wolfe dies at age 87 Author and Richmond native Tom Wolfe dies at 87 - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side
Andrew Cummings | 18 May, 2018, 15:17

Wolfe's agent Lynn Nesbit told The Associated Press that Wolfe died in a New York City hospital.

Wolfe, who produced nine non-fiction books from 1965 to 1981, had lived in New York since joining The New York Herald Tribune as a reporter in 1962. The writer pioneered New Journalism, a 1960s and 1970s literary movement characterized by colorful longform pieces written in a subjective voice. Wolfe edited a volume of work by himself and other prominent writers of the era, including Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, titled "The New Journalism".

The Right Stuff, Wolfe's 1979 account of the early days of the USA space program and the test pilots recruited for it, remains his best-selling work.

In his space-race classic The Right Stuff - the American Book Award victor - he combined the emotional impact of a novel with the factual foundation of hard reporting.

Later, Wolfe published his first novel, "The Bonfire of the Vanities", in 1987, which was adapted into a film by Brian De Palma in 1990.

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By then he had already published a number of ground-breaking books of his own, including "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", in which Wolfe provided a psychedelic chronicle of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they experimented with LSD.

Wolfe was well known for being a stylish dresser, often photographed in his trademark white suit.

In 2016, Wolfe told CBS News that he had five more books planned.

This post has been corrected to reflect that Wolfe was 88 when he died, not 87. "I never exchanged a cross word with him in our many years of working together".

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