The Right Stuff Author Tom Wolfe Dies at 88

16 May, 2018, 15:12 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Author Tom Wolfe dead at 88

Born in Virginia in 1931, Wolfe went straight into reportage out of university, beginning at the Springfield Union in MA. He cemented his reputation with Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, collections of his articles and essays.

Known for ingenious phrase-making and white suits, he chronicled USA culture across five decades through books such as The Bonfire Of The Vanities, The Right Stuff and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

In 1973, Wolfe co-edited The New Journalism, an anthology that collected several of his pieces along with work from peers such as Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, and others.

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.

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. He "already was celebrated for his journalism and nonfiction when, "What does he do?" It was also adapted for the big screen by director Brian De Palma. He had next to no education in the history of art or architecture, but he impertinently presumed to publish "The Painted Word" (1975) and "From Bauhaus to Our House" (1981). He is survived by his wife Sheila, the cover designer for Harper's Magazine, his daughter Alexandra, and son Tommy.

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