Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Best-Selling Writer Tom Wolfe Dies At Age 88

Famed author and journalist Tom Wolfe dead at 88 Getty Images
| 16 May, 2018, 15:12

Wolfe came up with "radical chic" to brand pretentious liberals, the "me decade" to sum up the self-indulgence of the 1970s and the "right stuff" to quantify intangible characteristics of the first U.S. astronauts and their test pilot predecessors.

Among his acclaimed books were The Right Stuff and The Bonfire Of The Vanities, a satire of Manhattan-style power and justice that became one of the best-selling books of the Eighties.

Wolfe, who coined the term "the me decade" for the 1970s and "radical chic", was also known for the distinctive tailored white suits he started wearing in 1962. Written in a wild free-association style that disregarded rules of punctuation, it was filled with sentence fragments and used words like "skakkkkkkkkkkkkkk" and "wowwwwwww".

Tom Wolfe was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1930. 1983's "The Right Stuff", about the early days of the American space program, won critical raves and four Oscars. "They called my brilliant manuscript "journalistic" and 'reactionary, ' which means I must go through with a blue pencil and strike out all the laughs and anti-Red passages and slip in a little liberal merde, so to speak, just to sweeten it".


When I arrived at my next editor in chief job, at NY magazine, my fundamentalist vision was to make it as much as possible like the NY to which Mr. Wolfe (and Ms. Ephron) had been a founding contributor 20 years earlier.

In the collection Wolfe wrote, "The most important literature being written in America today is in nonfiction".

Wolfe lived in NY with his wife, Sheila.

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