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Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe

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Also Known As: Thomas Wolfe Died:
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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Tom Wolfe, perpetually dressed in a white suit that was as much his trademark as his onomatopoeia-laden, eccentrically punctuated prose, was one of the most influential and instantly recognizable American writers of the twentieth century. In articles for Esquire, New York magazine, and Rolling Stone, Wolfe pioneered a style of "New Journalism" that embraced a novelistic approach, immersing the writer in the world of the subject to recreate scenes with intimate detail. Wolfe's piquant observations of American culture were collected in a series of best-selling books, including That Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, his account of Ken Kesey's counter-culture odyssey. Wolfe mastered long-form nonfiction with 1979's, The Right Stuff, which became an acclaimed 1983 film about the Mercury Space Program starring Ed Harris, and then turned New Journalism on its head by applying his research-oriented approach to fiction with his 1987 smash hit,The Bonfire of the Vanities, which was adapted into an infamous 1990 film flop starring Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffith. Wolfe's cultural criticism eventually alienated him from the literary community when he pronounced...

Tom Wolfe, perpetually dressed in a white suit that was as much his trademark as his onomatopoeia-laden, eccentrically punctuated prose, was one of the most influential and instantly recognizable American writers of the twentieth century. In articles for Esquire, New York magazine, and Rolling Stone, Wolfe pioneered a style of "New Journalism" that embraced a novelistic approach, immersing the writer in the world of the subject to recreate scenes with intimate detail. Wolfe's piquant observations of American culture were collected in a series of best-selling books, including That Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, his account of Ken Kesey's counter-culture odyssey. Wolfe mastered long-form nonfiction with 1979's, The Right Stuff, which became an acclaimed 1983 film about the Mercury Space Program starring Ed Harris, and then turned New Journalism on its head by applying his research-oriented approach to fiction with his 1987 smash hit,The Bonfire of the Vanities, which was adapted into an infamous 1990 film flop starring Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffith. Wolfe's cultural criticism eventually alienated him from the literary community when he pronounced that, with the exception of works of New Journalism, the novel was a doomed art form. His later books, 2008's I Am Charlotte Simmons and 2012's Back to Blood received lukewarm responses, but by then, with his carefully cultivated image and his strenuously unconventional writing style, Tom Wolfe had defined our self-obsessed culture and reinvented both journalism and the novel in the process.

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