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Author Information: Tom Wolfe

 
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Tom Wolfe was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. He was educated at Washington and Lee (B.A., 1951) and Yale (Ph.D., American Studies, 1957) Universities. In December 1956, he took a job as a reporter on the Springfield (Massachusetts) Union. This was the beginning of a ten-year newspaper career, most of it as a general assignment reporter.

In 1962 he became a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune and he completed his first book, a collection of articles about the flamboyant Sixties written for New York and Esquire and published in 1965 as The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby.

In 1968 he published two bestsellers on the same day: The Pump House Gang, made up of more articles about life in the Sixties, and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a nonfiction story of the hippie era. In 1970 he published Radical Chick & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, a highly controversial book about racial friction in the United States.

In 1975 , The Painted Word was published. In 1976 he published another collection, Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine.In 1979 Wolfe completed a book he had been at work on for more than six years, an account of the rocket airplane experiments of the post-World War II era and the early space program focusing upon the psychology of the rocket pilots and the astronauts and the competition between them. The Right Stuff which was later made into a movie, directed by Philip Kaufman.

In 1984 and 1985 Wolfe wrote his first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, in serial form against a deadline of every two weeks for Rolling Stone magazine. It came out in book form in 1987. A story of the money-feverish 1980s in New York, The Bonfire of the Vanities was number one of the New York Times bestseller list for two months and remained on the list for more than a year, as the essential novel of America in the 1980s.The novel, A Man in Full, was published in November of 1998.

Wolfe is currently (March 2003) at work on another novel, this one about college life. He lives in New York City with his wife, Sheila; his daughter, Alexandra; and his son, Tommy.

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