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Thomas Wolfe Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Look Homeward, Angel (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
Of Time and the River (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Web and the Rock (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
You Can't Go Home Again (1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Good Child's River (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
O Lost: A Story of the Buried Life (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Web and the Root (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Lost Boy (1937)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mountains (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Welcome to Our City (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mannerhouse (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Good Child's River (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Starwick Episodes (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Party At Jack's (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Four Lost Men: The Previously Unpublished Long Version (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

From Death to Morning (1935)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hills Beyond (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Stone, a Leaf, a Door (1945)Description / Buy at Amazon
Short Novels of Thomas Wolfe (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Complete Short Stories Of Thomas Wolfe (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thomas Wolfe's Civil War (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Windows of the Heart (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Magical Campus (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Story of a Novel (1936)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Western Journal a Daily Log the Great Parks Trip (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Autobiography of an American Novelist (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Other Loneliness (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Letters of Thomas Wolfe (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
To Loot My Life Clean (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Face of a Nation 1939 (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

50 Great Short Stories(1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writing New York(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Baseball: a Literary Anthology(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Brooklyn Noir 2(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Thomas Wolfe was an American literary fiction author from Asheville, North Carolina. He was born and spent much of his childhood in Asheville before he left as a fifteen year old to go to Chapel Hill, which is where he went to college.

Following his graduation, he went to Harvard to earn a degree in theater as he had always been interested in becoming a thespian. At Harvard, he wrote “Niggertown” a ten act play and “The Mountains,” which would launch his career as an author.

After graduating from Harvard, he moved to New York where he had been offered a position at New York University, where he taught for seven years.
In 1924 he began writing the manuscript for Look Homeward Angel that would become his most popular novel. The manuscript was a fictional exploration of his childhood in Asheville, though he changed some character names and the settings.

The book was published a week and a half before the market crashed in 1929 resulting in the Great Depression.

A few years before Thomas Wolfe published his seminal work, he had met and fallen in love with Aline Bernstein while coming back from Europe. She was a notable scene designer and more than two decades his senior when they got married. She encouraged him to venture into prose fiction rather than write drama.
In 1928 he finally finished writing “Look Homeward Angel” and got Scribner interested. It was at Scribner that he began his close, long and sometimes tumultuous relationship with Maxwell Perkins, then one of the most famous editors. He was the same editor who worked with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

It was quite a voluminous manuscript but Perkins managed to cut it into a more manageable form despite Wolfe’s protestations. The final work was finally published in 1929 to critical acclaim as Wolfe was hailed as one of the most promising young novelists in the United States.
He would be compared to the likes of Fitzgeral, Hemingway and Faulkner and was considered one of the pioneers and masters of the autobiographical genre.

Soon after publishing his debut, Thomas Wolfe was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship and soon after published “Web of Earth” his second novel. He published several short novels but then started butting heads with Perkins, his editor at Scribner.

His editor wanted him to write what would be a follow up novel for the lead protagonist of his debut novel while Wolf was interested in short stories and novellas. The two would agree to work on what the editor proposed and by 1933 they were done writing “Of Time and the River.”

Upon publication, the book was well received but Wolfe did not like it and blamed the quality of the novel on Perkins. By 1936 his relationship with Perkins and Scribner had deteriorated even further and he decided to move to Harper & Brothers.

Two years later while traveling in Seattle, he became seriously ill and was taken to the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. It turned out that he was afflicted with tuberculosis of the brain and he died shortly before he turned thirty eight. Several manuscripts he left behind would be published posthumously.

Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward, Angel” is a great American novel set in the rustic but deeply racist South of the past century. In 1914, the Great War had broken out even as motor cars became common on the highways and the twins and cities expanded.

The lead is Eugene Gant who is the last of six children born into the dysfunctional and beleaguered Gant family. At the opening of the novel Gant’s father, W.O Gant just arrived in the small town of Altamont, where he intends to create a cemetery monument enterprise.

The story then shifts to the third person perspective describing the selfish man, his seduction and ultimate marriage to the miserly and selfish Eliza. He is a shrewd man and it is not long before his obsession with real estate earns him considerable wealth.

Eliza, his wife, is the proprietor of a boarding house nicknamed Dixieland which serves prostitutes, transients and other people of disrepute. Her business uses up all her time and this makes her resentful of her children and husband.

It is very clear that most of their children would become shiftless as adults as most have no set goals for their futures. But Eugene is different as even though he is an eccentric loner he is intellectual and funny.

After attending a prestigious school away from the angry tirades from his parents, he is admitted to the University of North Carolina. Things are particularly hard at college but he does not want to go back home and has to find a way to find a place in the cruel world he lives in.

“You Can’t Go Home Again” by Thomas Wolfe is the story of George Webber who is something of a prototype for Thomas Wolfe the author. The novel is divided into three parts that follow the life events of Wolfe.

There is a part about his struggle to write his works and become accepted by publishers and other novelists; the transformation of the United States from a roaring economy to depression and run during the 30s; and his struggle to find salvation by sailing to Europe a few years before the start of the Second World War.
In this work, Wolfe showcases his exceptional talent as he presents highly theatrical and very memorable scenes. The beginning is a description of the iconoclastic neighbor who lives beside Webber in a New York tenement.

As he takes a train leaving New York he describes the New Yorkers huddled inside the train and what their lives are like. Attending a party on the Upper East Side Webber describes the greed and decadence of upper class New Yorkers as compared to the residents of Brooklyn who do not have much to put on their tables.
It is an excellent work that deserves the title of one of the Great American novels.

Thomas Wolfe’s “Of Time and the River” is a story that picks up from where the debut novel by the author left off. The novel follows the life and times of Eugene Gant with the same endless examination and passion that comes from the overbearing intensity common to all youth.

But unlike the debut, this is an endless search for a where and what which is formless until it is reached. In the debut we explored how youth can be bored by small town America which provides little apart from idleness and the banality of family life.

Gant is now in his mid twenties and is looking for knowledge and understanding of the world around him.
Wolfe still writes with shameless romanticism which often results in surreal, strange and beautifully dense verse. He can best be described as tirelessly poetic, and ceaselessly descriptive which is what makes his novels so good.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Thomas Wolfe

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