Author, journalist Tom Wolfe dies at 88

Casey Dawson
May 16, 2018

The author died at a Manhattan hospital on Monday after being hospitalized with an infection, The Guardian reports.

His agent reportedly declined to comment in further detail about her client's death, however, she did refer reporters to an article in the Wall Street Journal, where she was quoted as saying: "He is not just an American icon, but he had a huge global literary reputation. All the same, he was one of the most modest and kindest people I have ever met".

Colter joined amNewYork as associate editor in 2017, and has worked as a news editor and designer in New York City since 2011. He first came to wide notice with the 1968 novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, an account of counterculture icon Ken Kesey and friends, aka the Merry Pranksters, traveling the country in their painted bus and the adventures they experienced.

The author and journalist started as a regional newspaper reporter at Massachusetts' Springfield Union before moving onto The Washington Post.

The National Book Awards also paid tribute. He later wrote books, including The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, The Pump House Gang, and The Right Stuff, among many others.

Wolfe didn't begin his novels with a character and a plot so much as an idea, Tom Vitale of NPR explained. John Irving angrily denounced Wolfe by saying, "I can't read him because he's such a bad writer".

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During a prolific career, Wolfe turned his scathing pen to pop culture, the hippie movement, the art world, LSD, race relations and the lives of astronauts.

"Everything that bloggers have done for journalism - and I personally think they've done a lot - Wolfe did it first, he did it 30 years earlier, and he did it better", novelist Rex Grossman told NPR.

Wolfe's best-known work is perhaps bonfire of vanities, which is still considered great novel of NY. Since childhood, Tom Wolfe dreamed of becoming a writer.

His first work of fiction turned out to be his most famous, the bestseller The Bonfire of the Vanities, an epic satire on social class, ambition, racism, politics and greed in 1980s NY.

After this he wrote a number of popular books, both documentary and artistic.

Wolfe is survived by his wife Sheila, and two children, Alexandra and Tommy.

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