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Tom Wolfe Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Man in Full (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Back to Blood (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Hooking Up (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pump House Gang (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The New Journalism (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Painted Word (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mauve Gloves and Madmen, Clutter and Vine (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Right Stuff (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In Our Time (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
From Bauhaus to Our House (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Purple Decades (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Kingdom of Speech (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Tom Wolfe was a notable American writer and journalist, who was quite popular for his works related to New Journalism. He is considered a pioneer of this style of journalism and news reporting that took roots during the 1960s & 1970s and incorporated the literary techniques. Author Wolfe was born as Thomas Kennerly Wolfe on March 02, 1930, in Richmond, Virginia, United States. He started his career in journalism as a reporter for a small regional newspaper during the 1950s. It was in the following decade that Wolfe achieved national prominence after publishing his first bestselling books. It was followed by more popularity with the release of his influential novel The Right Stuff based on the astronauts of Mercury Seven. This book was later developed into a film in 1983 with the same title and Philip Kaufman as its director. The year 1987 saw the release of Wolfe’s first full length novel. It received critical acclaim and went on to achieve commercial success.

Brian De Palma directed a motion picture later taking inspiration from this book. Author Wolfe spent his initial days growing up on the Gloucester Road in Sherwood Park neighborhood in North Side Richmond. He was good in academics and held the positions of the president of student council, school newspaper’s editor, etc., and was also an excellent baseball player. Wolfe graduated in 1947 and turned down an offer to gain admission in Princeton University. He chose to enroll himself at the Washington & Lee University. During his college days, Wolfe was a part of the fraternity of Phi Kappa Sigma. He was even the editor of his college’s newspaper, and assisted in the founding of the literary magazine called Shenandoah. This gave Wolfe the opportunity of practicing writing both outside and inside the classroom. One of his professors, Marshall Fishwick, was a great influence for him. After obtaining his degree, author Wolfe was numerous teaching jobs, but he was interested more in journalism. So, in 1956, he joined Springfield Union, a news agency in Massachusetts, as a news reporter. The Washington Post hired Wolfe in 1959. Over the years of his journalist career, Wolfe worked for different agencies, and even won awards for his dedication in the field of news-reporting. Later, he shifted his focus towards writing nonfiction books and novels. All his books worked very well in the market and successfully reached out to a large number of readers across the globe.

In 2016, Wolfe wrote and published Kingdom Speech, the controversial critique about the works of Noam Chomsky and Charles Darwin. In 1977, a TV movie titled Tom Wolfe’s Los Angeles was produced by PBS. This satirical, fictional movie features Wolfe as himself. Throughout his literary career, author Wolfe received numerous critical reviews and comments about his work. He was criticized on many occasions and by some prominent personalities like John Updike, John Irving, Norman Mailer, etc. He used to live in New York City along with his wife named Sheila, until his death. Wolfe had 2 children, Tommy and Alexandra. Author Wolfe’s death occurred on 14th May, 2018, in Manhattan due to complications from the infection. He was credited to have coined the term ‘trophy wife’ and for using the word X-rays for very thin women. Throughout his dual careers in journalism and novel writing, Wolfe won and was nominated for many prestigious awards, including the John Passos Award, Guild Award, Golden Plate Award, Lifetime Achievement from Chicago Tribune, etc. Wolfe’s fans love him even today and believe that he still alive with them through his writings.

A very popular book written by author Tom Wolfe is entitled ‘A Bonfire of the Vanities’. It was released in the year 1987 by the Farrar Straus publication. Wolfe has written it in the form of a satirical novel and has described a dramatic story about racism, greed, ambition, social class, and politics that were prevalent in NY City in 1980s. The story revolves around the lives of the 3 main characters named Sherman McCoy, Larry Kramer, and Peter Fallow. Sherman McCoy is depicted as a trader of WASP bond, Larry Kramer is shown as an assistant district attorney, and Peter Fallow is described as an expatriate journalist from Britain. Originally, this novel was conceived as a TV series in the writing style of Charles Dickens. It began in 1984 and consisted of 27 installments.

Later, author Wolfe decided to revise the story and release it in the form of a book. The novel became a bestseller and achieved tremendous success. This book’s title is taken from the historical event of the Vanities’ Bonfire that took place in Florence, Italy in 1497, at the time of Girolamo Savonarola’s rule. This priest had ordered the people to burn all those things considered sinful by church authorities, mirrors, art, cosmetics, books, etc. This novel received good reviews from one and all. Many literary journals and magazines praised the book’s characters, settings, and storyline. It was labeled as a funny, big, craftily plotted, and bitter description. However, there were some criticisms related to the superficial characters mentioned by Wolfe. There was an adaptation of the novel into a Hollywood movie in 1990 starring Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks, Kim Cattrall, and Melanie Griffith in the lead roles.

Another magnificent novel penned by Wolfe is called ‘A Man in Full’. It was also published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux publishers in 1998. Author Wolfe has set this novel’s story mostly in Atlanta and some of its parts in Northern California’s region of the East Bay. The book features several interesting characters, including Charles Charlie Croker, Martha Croker, Ray Peepgass, Roger White, Conrad Hensley, etc. Charles Croker is introduced as a real estate businessman, Martha Croker is mentioned as his wife, Ray Peepgass is a rival business, and Roger White as a popular lawyer. At the novel’s beginning, the characters hear a rumor about a white heiress’ rape by a superstar athlete of the black race. This incident seems rather unimportant to the characters’ lives, but its potential to cause race riots in all of Atlanta makes all of them worried. Later, there is involvement of local business interests and politics, resulting in many twists and turns as the plot proceeds further. This book was given positive reviews by most of news magazines and mainstream newspapers in America. Some established novelists like Norman Mailer and John Updike gave strong criticism to the strong, but praised the writing style of author Wolfe. All those who criticized his work were considered by Wolfe as feeling threatened by his vast support and success. Later, an audiobook of this novel was released with David Ogden Siters as the narrator.

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