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Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe dies
16 May 2018, 12:35 | Rufus Hill
ImageTom Wolfe in 1988. He was known for his verbal pyrotechnics in books like “The Right Stuff.”CreditÁngel Franco The New York Times
Tom Wolfe, the essayist, journalist and author of bestselling books including The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Bonfire of the Vanities, has died at the age of 87. He edited the influential collection The New Journalism, which included essays by Joan Didion, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and others.
Wolfe, author also of all A man, was a devotee of realism, who cultivated in three Pharaonic novels which exceeded 600 pages.
In this way, Wolfe was a pioneer of storytelling and creative nonfiction whose influence is still felt today.
Heading to New York City in 1962, he worked at the New York Herald Tribune, which encouraged its writers to break the conventions of newspaper writing.
Wolfe traveled during the '60s with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters for his book on the psychedelic culture, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.
The book earned Wolfe a nomination for the National Book Award before the first copy of the 1.2 million first-run printing was sold, CNN said. He had a pitiless eye and a penchant for spotting trends and then giving them names, some of which - like "Radical Chic" and "the Me Decade" - became American idioms. They want to tell you things that you don't know.
"He knows everything, " novelist Kurt Vonnegut once wrote of Wolfe.
In 1979, he published his bestseller "The Right Stuff" about Project Mercury astronauts in the NASA space program and the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Wolfe was born March 2, 1931 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia, the son of an agronomist father and an arts-oriented mother. Both books were later turned into movies. He was 88 years old.
Tom Wolfe, author of Bonfire of the Vanities, has passed away.
He is survived by his wife, Sheila, and two children Tommy and Alexandra.
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