Thomas Wolfe

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Thomas Wolfe
Thomas Wolfe 1937 1 (cropped).jpg
Portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 1937
BornThomas Clayton Wolfe
(1900-10-03)October 3, 1900
Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedSeptember 15, 1938(1938-09-15) (aged 37)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Resting place Riverside Cemetery, Asheville
Alma mater
  • Fiction
  • drama
Notable works
Thomas Wolfe signature.svg

Thomas Clayton Wolfe (October 3, 1900 – September 15, 1938) was an American writer. [1] The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction states that "Wolfe was a major American novelist of the first half of the twentieth century, whose longterm reputation rests largely on the impact of his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel (1929), and on the short fiction that appeared during the last years of his life." [2] Along with William Faulkner, he is considered one of the two most important authors of the Southern Renaissance within the American literary canon. [3] He remains an important writer in modern American literature, as one of the first masters of autobiographical fiction, and is considered among North Carolina's most famous writers. [4]


Wolfe wrote four lengthy novels as well as many short stories, dramatic works, and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. His books, written and published from the 1920s to the 1940s, vividly reflect on American culture and the mores of that period, filtered through Wolfe's sensitive, sophisticated, and hyper-analytical perspective.

After Wolfe's death, contemporary author Faulkner said that Wolfe might have been the greatest talent of their generation for aiming higher than any other writer. [1] [5] Faulker's endorsement, however, failed to win over mid to late 20th century literary critics and for a time Wolfe's place in the literary canon was questioned. However, 21st century academics have largely rejected this negative assessment, and both a greater appreciation of his experimentation with literary forms and a renewed interest in Wolfe's works, in particular his short fiction, has secured Wolfe's place in the literary canon with a more positive and balanced assessment. [2] Wolfe's influence extends to the writings of Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac, and of authors Ray Bradbury and Philip Roth, among others. [6]

Early life

Wolfe was born in Asheville, North Carolina, the youngest of eight children of William Oliver Wolfe (1851–1922) and Julia Elizabeth Westall (1860–1945). Six of the children lived to adulthood. [7] His father, of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, [8] was a successful stone carver and ran a gravestone business.

W. O. Wolfe's business used an angel in the window to attract customers. Thomas Wolfe "described the angel in great detail" in a short story and in Look Homeward, Angel. The angel was sold and, while there was controversy over which one was the actual angel, the location of the "Thomas Wolfe angel" was determined in 1949 to be Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville, North Carolina. [9]

Wolfe's mother took in boarders and was active in acquiring real estate. In 1904, she opened a boarding house in St. Louis, Missouri, for the World's Fair. While the family was in St. Louis, Wolfe's 12-year-old brother, Grover, died of typhoid fever.

Thomas Wolfe House, 48 Spruce Street in Asheville Thomas Wolfe's Home.jpg
Thomas Wolfe House, 48 Spruce Street in Asheville

In 1906, Julia Wolfe bought a boarding house named "Old Kentucky Home" at nearby 48 Spruce Street in Asheville, taking up residence there with her youngest son while the rest of the family remained at the Woodfin Street residence. Wolfe lived in the boarding house on Spruce Street until he went to college in 1916. It is now the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. [10] Wolfe was closest to his brother Ben, whose early death at age 26 is chronicled in Look Homeward, Angel . [7] Julia Wolfe bought and sold many properties, eventually becoming a successful real estate speculator. [7]

Wolfe began to study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) when he was 15 years old. A member of the Dialectic Society and Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, he predicted that his portrait would one day hang in New West near that of celebrated North Carolina governor Zebulon Vance, which it does today. [11] Aspiring to be a playwright, in 1919 Wolfe enrolled in a playwriting course. [1] His one-act play, The Return of Buck Gavin, was performed by the newly formed Carolina Playmakers, then composed of classmates in Frederick Koch's playwriting class, with Wolfe acting the title role. He edited UNC's student newspaper The Daily Tar Heel [7] and won the Worth Prize for Philosophy for an essay titled "The Crisis in Industry". Another of his plays, The Third Night, was performed by the Playmakers in December 1919. Wolfe was inducted into the Golden Fleece honor society. [11]

Wolfe graduated from UNC with a bachelor of arts in June 1920, and in September, entered Harvard University, where he studied playwriting under George Pierce Baker. Two versions of his play The Mountains were performed by Baker's 47 Workshop in 1921. While taking Baker's 47 Workshop course he befriended the playwright Kenneth Raisbeck who was Baker's graduate assistant. Wolfe later based the character of Francis Starwick in his semi-autobiographical novel Of Time and the River (1935) on Raisbeck. [12]

In 1922, Wolfe received his master's degree from Harvard. His father died in Asheville in June of that year. Wolfe studied another year with Baker, and the 47 Workshop produced his 10-scene play Welcome to Our City in May 1923.

Wolfe visited New York City again in November 1923 and solicited funds for UNC, while trying to sell his plays to Broadway. In February 1924, he began teaching English as an instructor at New York University (NYU), a position he occupied periodically for almost seven years.


Wolfe was unable to sell any of his plays after three years because of their great length. [11] The Theatre Guild came close to producing Welcome to Our City before ultimately rejecting it, and Wolfe found his writing style more suited to fiction than the stage. [1] He sailed to Europe in October 1924 to continue writing. From England he traveled to France, Italy and Switzerland.

On his return voyage in 1925, he met Aline Bernstein (1880–1955), a scene designer for the Theatre Guild. Twenty years his senior, she was married to a successful stockbroker with whom she had two children. In October 1925, she and Wolfe became lovers and remained so for five years. [11] Their affair was turbulent and sometimes combative, but she exerted a powerful influence, encouraging and funding his writing. [11]

Wolfe returned to Europe in the summer of 1926 and began writing the first version of an autobiographical novel titled O Lost. The narrative, which evolved into Look Homeward, Angel , fictionalized his early experiences in Asheville, and chronicled family, friends, and the boarders at his mother's establishment on Spruce Street. In the book, he renamed the town Altamont and called the boarding house "Dixieland". His family's surname became Gant, and Wolfe called himself Eugene, his father Oliver, and his mother Eliza. The original manuscript of O Lost was over 1,100 pages (333,000 words) long, [13] [14] and considerably more experimental in style than the final version of Look Homeward, Angel. It was submitted to Scribner's, where the editing was done by Maxwell Perkins, the most prominent book editor of the time, who also worked with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. He cut the book to focus more on the character of Eugene, a stand-in for Wolfe. Wolfe initially expressed gratitude to Perkins for his disciplined editing, but he had misgivings later. It has been said that Wolfe found a father figure in Perkins, and that Perkins, who had five daughters, found a sort of foster son in Wolfe. [15]

The novel, which had been dedicated to Bernstein, was published 11 days before the stock market crash of 1929. [11] [16] Soon afterward, Wolfe returned to Europe and ended his affair with Bernstein. [15] The novel caused a stir in Asheville, with its over 200 thinly disguised local characters. [11] [17] [18] Wolfe chose to stay away from Asheville for eight years because of the uproar; he traveled to Europe for a year on a Guggenheim Fellowship. [11] [19] [20] Look Homeward, Angel was a bestseller in the United Kingdom and Germany. [16] Some members of Wolfe's family were upset with their portrayal in the book, but his sister Mabel wrote to him that she was sure he had the best of intentions. [21]

After four more years writing in Brooklyn, [20] the second novel Wolfe submitted to Scribner's was The October Fair, a multi-volume epic roughly the length of Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time . After considering the commercial possibilities of publishing the book in full, Perkins opted to cut it significantly and create a single volume. Titled Of Time and the River , it was more commercially successful than Look Homeward, Angel. [11] In an ironic twist, the citizens of Asheville were more upset this time because they had not been included. [22] The character of Esther Jack was based on Bernstein. [15] In 1934, Maxim Lieber served as his literary agent.

Wolfe was persuaded by Edward Aswell to leave Scribner's and sign with Harper & Brothers. [23] By some accounts, Perkins' severe editing of Wolfe's work is what prompted him to leave. [24] Others describe his growing resentment that some people attributed his success to Perkins' work as editor. [15] In 1936, Bernard DeVoto, reviewing The Story of a Novel for Saturday Review, wrote that Look Homeward, Angel was "hacked and shaped and compressed into something resembling a novel by Mr. Perkins and the assembly-line at Scribners". [25] [26]

Wolfe spent much time in Europe and was especially popular and at ease in Germany, where he made many friends. However, in 1936 he witnessed incidents of discrimination against Jews, which upset him and changed his mind about the political developments in the country. [26] He returned to America and published a story based on his observations ("I Have a Thing to Tell You") in The New Republic . [26] Following its publication, Wolfe's books were banned by the German government, and he was prohibited from traveling there. [26]

In 1937, "Chickamauga", his short story set during the American Civil War battle of the same name, was published. [27] Wolfe returned to Asheville in early 1937 for the first time since publication of his first book. [26]


In 1938, after submitting over one million words of manuscript to his new editor, Edward Aswell, Wolfe left New York for a tour of the Western United States. [28] On the way, he stopped at Purdue University and gave a lecture, "Writing and Living", and then spent two weeks traveling through 11 national parks in the West, the only part of the country he had never visited. [5] Wolfe wrote to Aswell that while he had focused on his family in his previous writing, he would now take a more global perspective. [29] In July, he became ill with pneumonia while visiting Seattle, spending three weeks in the hospital there. [21] His sister Mabel closed her boarding house in Washington, D.C. and went to Seattle to care for him. [21] Complications arose, and Wolfe was eventually diagnosed with miliary tuberculosis.

On September 6, he was sent to Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment by Walter Dandy, [21] the most famous neurosurgeon in the country, but an operation revealed that the disease had overrun the entire right side of his brain. Without regaining consciousness, he died 18 days before his 38th birthday. [29]

On his deathbed and shortly before lapsing into a coma, Wolfe wrote a letter to Perkins. [30] He acknowledged that Perkins had helped to realize his work and had made his labors possible. In closing he wrote:

I shall always think of you and feel about you the way it was that Fourth of July day three years ago when you met me at the boat, and we went out on the cafe on the river and had a drink and later went on top of the tall building, and all the strangeness and the glory and the power of life and of the city was below. [31]

Wolfe was buried in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina, beside his parents and siblings.

After Wolfe's death, The New York Times wrote:

His was one of the most confident young voices in contemporary American literature, a vibrant, full-toned voice which it is hard to believe could be so suddenly stilled. The stamp of genius was upon him, though it was an undisciplined and unpredictable genius ... There was within him an unspent energy, an untiring force, an unappeasable hunger for life and for expression which might have carried him to the heights and might equally have torn him down. [5]

Time wrote: "The death last week of Thomas Clayton Wolfe shocked critics with the realization that, of all American novelists of his generation, he was the one from whom most had been expected." [32]

Posthumous works

Wolfe saw less than half of his work published in his lifetime, there being much unpublished material remaining after his death. [33] He was the first American writer to leave two complete, unpublished novels in the hands of his publisher at death. [34] Two Wolfe novels, The Web and the Rock and You Can't Go Home Again , were edited posthumously by Edward Aswell of Harper & Brothers. The novels were "two of the longest one-volume novels ever written" (nearly 700 pages each). [34] In these novels, Wolfe changed the name of his autobiographical character from Eugene Gant to George Webber. [34]

O Lost, the original "author's cut" of Look Homeward, Angel, was reconstructed by F. Scott Fitzgerald scholar Matthew Bruccoli and published in 2000 on the centennial of Wolfe's birth. Bruccoli said that while Perkins was a talented editor, Look Homeward, Angel is inferior to the complete work of O Lost and that the publication of the complete novel "marks nothing less than the restoration of a masterpiece to the literary canon". [15]

Critical reception

Upon publication of Look Homeward, Angel, most reviewers responded favorably, including John Chamberlain, Carl Van Doren, and Stringfellow Barr. [35] Margaret Wallace wrote in The New York Times Book Review that Wolfe had produced "as interesting and powerful a book as has ever been made out of the drab circumstances of provincial American life". [15] An anonymous review published in Scribner's magazine compared Wolfe to Walt Whitman, and many other reviewers and scholars have found similarities in their works since. [36]

When published in the UK in July 1930, the book received similar reviews. Richard Aldington wrote that the novel was "the product of an immense exuberance, organic in its form, kinetic, and drenched with the love of life...I rejoice over Mr. Wolfe". [37] Both in his 1930 Nobel Prize for Literature acceptance speech and original press conference announcement, Sinclair Lewis, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for literature, said of Wolfe, "He may have a chance to be the greatest American writer...In fact I don't see why he should not be one of the greatest world writers." [38]

Upon publication of his second novel, Of Time and the River, most reviewers and the public remained supportive, though some critics found shortcomings while still hailing it for moments or aspects of greatness. [20] The book was well received by the public and became his only American bestseller. [20] The publication was viewed as "the literary event of 1935"; by comparison, the earlier attention given to Look Homeward, Angel was modest. [39] Both The New York Times and New York Herald Tribune published enthusiastic front-page reviews. [39] Clifton Fadiman wrote in The New Yorker that while he was not sure what he thought of the book, "for decades we have not had eloquence like his in American writing". [39] Malcolm Cowley of The New Republic thought the book would be twice as good if half as long, but stated Wolfe was "the only contemporary writer who can be mentioned in the same breath as Dickens and Dostoevsky". [39] Robert Penn Warren thought Wolfe produced some brilliant fragments from which "several fine novels might be written". He went on to say: "And meanwhile it may be well to recollect that Shakespeare merely wrote Hamlet ; he was not Hamlet." [39] Warren also praised Wolfe in the same review, though, as did John Donald Wade in a separate review. [40]

Though he was acclaimed during his lifetime as one of the most important American writers, comparable to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, or William Faulkner, [26] Wolfe's reputation as a writer was heavily criticized after his death. [15] [26] He was ridiculed by such prominent critics as Harold Bloom and James Wood. [41] At one time he was left out of college courses and anthologies devoted to great writers. [26] Faulkner and W.J. Cash listed Wolfe as the ablest writer of their generation, although Faulkner later qualified his praise. [42] Despite his early admiration of Wolfe's work, Faulkner later decided that his novels were "like an elephant trying to do the hoochie-coochie". Ernest Hemingway's verdict was that Wolfe was "the over-bloated Li'l Abner of literature". [43]

Twenty-first century scholars have largely rejected the overly negative criticism of Wolfe from the mid to late 20th century. [2] This re-assessment of Wolfe began in the 1980s with writers like Leslie Fields whose entry on Wolfe in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (1981) was one of the earlier publications to provide a more thorough and positive assessment of Wolfe's short stories. From this point on, positive re-assessment began to grow and current assessment of Wolfe tends to be more balanced, with a greater appreciation of his experimentation with literary forms. [2] The Complete Short Stories Of Thomas Wolfe was published in 1989, and his short stories were later published in several anthologies, including American Classics (1989, Marshall Cavendish), The American Short Story: A Treasury of the Memorable and Familiar, by the Great American Writers from Washington Irving to Saul Bellow (1994, State Street Press), Short Stories from the Old North State (2012, University of North Carolina Press), and Writing Appalachia: An Anthology (2020, University Press of Kentucky) among others. Wolfe is now read more widely in high school and college literature courses then previously. [44] Today, William Faulkner and Wolfe are considered the two most important authors of the Southern Renaissance within the American literary canon. [3]


Southerner and Harvard historian David Herbert Donald's biography of Wolfe, Look Homeward, won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1988.

Wolfe inspired the works of many other authors, including Betty Smith with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn , Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek , and Prince of Tides author Pat Conroy, who has said "My writing career began the instant I finished Look Homeward, Angel." [4] [45] [46] Jack Kerouac idolized Wolfe. [47] Ray Bradbury was influenced by Wolfe, and included him as a character in his books. [48] Earl Hamner, Jr., who created the popular television series The Waltons , idolized Wolfe in his youth. [49]

Hunter S. Thompson credits Wolfe for his famous phrase "Fear and Loathing" (on page 62 of The Web and the Rock ). [50]


Two universities hold the primary archival collections of Thomas Wolfe materials in the United States: the Thomas Clayton Wolfe Papers at Harvard University's Houghton Library, which includes all of Wolfe's manuscripts, [7] and the Thomas Wolfe Collections in the North Carolina Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Each October, at the time of Wolfe's birthday, UNC-Chapel Hill presents the annual Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lecture to a contemporary writer, with past recipients including Roy Blount, Jr., Robert Morgan, and Pat Conroy. [51]


Return of an Angel, a play by Sandra Mason, explores the reactions of Wolfe's family and the citizens of his hometown of Asheville to the publication of Look Homeward, Angel. The play was staged several times near the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, in the month of October, to commemorate his birthday. Pack Memorial Library in Asheville hosts the Thomas Wolfe Collection which "honors Asheville's favorite son". [52] The Western North Carolina Historical Association has presented the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award yearly since 1955 for a literary achievement of the previous year. [53] The Thomas Wolfe Society celebrates Wolfe's writings and publishes an annual review about Wolfe's work. [45] The United States Postal Service honored Wolfe with a postage stamp on the occasion of what would have been Wolfe's 100th birthday in 2000. [45]

Historic landmarks

The "Old Kentucky Home" was donated by Wolfe's family as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial and has been open to visitors since the 1950s, owned by the state of North Carolina since 1976 and designated as a National Historic Landmark. [41] Wolfe called it "Dixieland" in Look Homeward, Angel. [54] In 1998, 200 of the house's 800 original artifacts and the house's dining room were destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist during the Bele Chere street festival. The perpetrator remains unknown. [41] After a $2.4 million restoration, the house was re-opened in 2003. [41]

A cabin built by Wolfe's friend Max Whitson in 1924 near Azalea Road was designated as a historic landmark by the Asheville City Council in 1982. Thomas Wolfe Cabin, as it is called, was where Wolfe spent the summer of 1937 in his last visit to the city. [54] In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Wolfe wrote "I am going into the woods. I am going to try to do the best, the most important piece of work I have ever done", referring to October Fair, which became The Web and the Rock and You Can't Go Home Again. He also wrote "The Party at Jack's" while at the cabin in the Oteen community. [55] The city bought the property, including a larger house, from John Moyer in 2001, [54] and did some work fixing up the cabin. Restoring the cabin would cost $300,000 but as of 2021 there is no funding. Plans for the site would cost at least $3.5 million, and as much as $6.7 million. [56]

The Thomas Wolfe Society

The Thomas Wolfe Society, [57] established in the late 1970s, issues an annual publication of Wolfe-related materials, and its journal, The Thomas Wolfe Review features scholarly articles, belles lettres, and reviews. The Society also awards prizes for literary scholarship on Wolfe.


In 1958, Ketti Frings adapted Look Homeward, Angel into a play of the same name. It ran on Broadway for 564 performances at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, received six Tony Award nominations, and won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Frings was named "Woman of the Year" by The Los Angeles Times in the same year. [20] In 1972, it was presented as a television drama, as was Of Time and the River in a one-hour version. [20]

Wolfe's play Welcome to Our City was performed twice at Harvard during his graduate school years, in Zurich in Switzerland during the 1950s, and by the Mint Theater in New York City in 2000 in celebration of Wolfe's 100th birthday.[51]

The title character of Herman Wouk's 1962 bestselling novel Youngblood Hawke , and its subsequent film adaptation, was loosely based on Wolfe. [58]

Wolfe's relationship with his editor Maxwell Perkins was the basis of a movie titled Genius in 2016 in which Jude Law and Colin Firth played the roles of Wolfe and Perkins respectively. Nicole Kidman played Aline Bernstein. [59]



Posthumous Works:






Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River were published in Armed Services Editions during World War II.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Reeves, Paschal (1974) [1974]. Thomas Wolfe, The Critical Reception. Ayer Publishing. p. xvii. ISBN   0-89102-050-0.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Robert, Terry (January 18, 2011). "Wolfe, Thomas". In Shaffer, Brian W.; Ball, John Clement; O'Donnell, Patrick (eds.). The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, 3 Volume Set. Wiley. p. 918. ISBN   978-1-4051-9244-6.
  3. 1 2 Millichap, Joseph R. (2021). "Chapter 3: Thomas Wolfe's Southern Railroad: Look Homeward, Angel and Beyond". Dixie Limited: Railroads, Culture, and the Southern Renaissance. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN   9780813193731.
  4. 1 2 "2008 Thomas Wolfe Prize". Cornell University. September 9, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  5. 1 2 3 "Thomas Wolfe's Final Journal". Virginia Quarterly Review. August 14, 2009. Archived from the original on December 7, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  6. "The Book That Made Me A Reader: Philip Roth". Archived from the original on August 11, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 "Bio". UNC Wilmington Library. Archived from the original on October 17, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  8. Meindl, Dieter (2009). "Thomas Wolfe and Germany: modernism and anti-anti-semitism in 'dark in the forest, strange as time' and 'I have a thing to tell you'". Thomas Wolfe Review. 33. Retrieved January 28, 2024. Thomas Wolfe's interest in Germany was rooted in fairy tales, an early admiration of Goethe, and his father's Pennsylvania Dutch descent.
  9. Boyle, John (April 24, 2020). "Where is the real Thomas Wolfe angel?". Asheville Citizen-Times. p. A2. Retrieved July 27, 2020 via
  10. Thomas Wolfe's 'Angel' of Death Archived November 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine , The New York Times blog – May 1, 2009
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Thomas Wolfe Timeline". Wolfe Memorial. Archived from the original on November 20, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  12. Kennedy, Richard S. (1994). "A Portrait of Kenneth Raisbeck". In Kennedy, Richard S. (ed.). The Starwick Episodes. LSU Press. p. 5. ISBN   9780807119754.
  13. "Thomas Wolfe - North Carolina Digital History". Archived from the original on August 23, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  14. Bruccoli, Matthew (2004) [2004]. The Sons of Maxwell Perkins: Letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, and Their Editor. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press. p. xviii.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Smith, Dinitia (October 2, 2000). "Looking Homeward To Thomas Wolfe; An Uncut Version of His First Novel Is to Be Published on His Centenary". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
  16. 1 2 Reeves, Paschal (1974) [1974]. Thomas Wolfe, The Critical Reception. Ayer Publishing. p. xix. ISBN   0-89102-050-0.
  17. Horace Kephart and Thomas Wolfe's "abomination," Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe Review - 2006
  18. Margaret E. Roberts (Mrs. John Munsey Roberts), Buncombe County Library Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
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  25. David Donald, Look Homeward (1987), 376-7
  26. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Roberts, Terry (2000). "Resurrecting Thomas Wolfe". Southern Literary Journal. 33 (1): 27–41. doi: 10.1353/slj.2000.0012 .
  27. Foote, Shelby, ed. (1993). Chickamauga, and other Civil War Stories . Random House Publishing. ISBN   0-385-31100-1.
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  34. 1 2 3 "Books: Burning, Burning, Burning". Time. September 23, 1940. Archived from the original on September 15, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2009.
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  39. 1 2 3 4 5 Reeves, Paschal (1974) [1974]. Thomas Wolfe, The Critical Reception. Ayer Publishing. p. xxiii. ISBN   0-89102-050-0.
  40. Bradley, Patricia L. (Spring 2006). "Robert Penn Warren, Thomas Wolfe, and the Problem of Autobiography" (PDF). The South Carolina Review . 38 (2): 136–145. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
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  43. Wetzsteon, Ross, "Republic of Dreams Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia 1910-1960, Simon & Schuster, 2003, p. 415
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  52. Buncombe County Public Libraries Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
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  55. Neufeld, Rob (May 8, 2017). "Visiting Our Past: Preserving Wolfe's Asheville legacy". Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  56. Boyle, John (October 5, 2021). "Answer Man: WAKE sculpture not moving? Thomas Wolfe cabin plans?". Asheville Citizen-Times.
  57. Thomas Wolfe Society Archived October 20, 2016, at the Wayback Machine website
  58. Kauffmann, Stanley (June 11, 1962). "Look Backward, Angel". New Republic. Vol. 146, no. 24. pp. 24–25.
  59. Busis, Hillary (June 6, 2016). "See Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Colin Firth Share the Screen in Genius". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zelda Fitzgerald</span> American writer (1900–1948)

Zelda Fitzgerald was an American novelist, painter, playwright, and socialite. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, to a wealthy Southern family, she became locally famous for her beauty and high spirits. In 1920, she married writer F. Scott Fitzgerald after the popular success of his debut novel, This Side of Paradise. The novel catapulted the young couple into the public eye, and she became known in the national press as the first American flapper. Due to their wild antics and incessant partying, she and her husband became regarded in the newspapers as the enfants terribles of the Jazz Age. Alleged infidelity and bitter recriminations soon undermined their marriage. After traveling abroad to Europe, Zelda's mental health deteriorated, and she had suicidal and homicidal tendencies which required psychiatric care. Her doctors diagnosed Zelda with schizophrenia, although later posthumous diagnoses posit bipolar disorder.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maxwell Perkins</span> Book editor

William Maxwell Evarts "Max" Perkins was an American book editor, best remembered for discovering authors Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Thomas Wolfe.

Matthew Joseph Bruccoli was an American professor of English at the University of South Carolina. He was the preeminent expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald. He also wrote about other writers, notably Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe and John O'Hara, and was editor of the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

<i>Save Me the Waltz</i> 1932 novel by Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Save Me the Waltz is a 1932 novel by American writer Zelda Fitzgerald. It is a semi-autobiographical account of her life in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era and her marriage to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. She composed the work while a patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital's Phipps Clinic in Baltimore, Maryland. As part of her recovery routine, she spent at least two hours a day writing a novel. She sent the manuscript to her husband's editor, Maxwell Perkins. Although unimpressed by the manuscript, Perkins published the work in order for Fitzgerald to repay his financial debt to his publisher Scribner's.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bernard DeVoto</span> American historian and author (1897–1955)

Bernard Augustine DeVoto was an American historian, conservationist, essayist, columnist, teacher, editor, and reviewer. He was the author of a series of Pulitzer-Prize-winning popular histories of the American West and for many years wrote The Easy Chair, an influential column in Harper's Magazine. DeVoto also wrote several well-regarded novels and during the 1950s served as a speech-writer for Adlai Stevenson. His friend and biographer, Wallace Stegner described DeVoto as "flawed, brilliant, provocative, outrageous, ... often wrong, often spectacularly right, always stimulating, sometimes infuriating, and never, never dull."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dawn Powell</span> American novelist, playwright, screenwriter (1896–1965)

Dawn Powell was an American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and short story writer. Known for her acid-tongued prose, "her relative obscurity was likely due to a general distaste for her harsh satiric tone." Nonetheless, Stella Adler and author Clifford Odets appeared in one of her plays. Her work was praised by Robert Benchley in The New Yorker and in 1939 she was signed as a Scribner author where Maxwell Perkins, famous for his work with many of her contemporaries, including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, became her editor. A 1963 nominee for the National Book Award, she received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Marjorie Peabody Waite Award for lifetime achievement in literature the following year. A friend to many literary and arts figures of her day, including author John Dos Passos, critic Edmund Wilson, and poet E.E. Cummings, Powell's work received renewed interest after Gore Vidal praised it in an 1987 editorial for The New York Review of Books. Since then, the Library of America has published two collections of her novels.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aline Bernstein</span> American set and costume designer (1880–1955)

Aline Bernstein was an American set designer and costume designer. She and Irene Lewisohn founded the Museum of Costume Art. Bernstein was the lover, patron, and muse of novelist Thomas Wolfe.

<i>Look Homeward, Angel</i> 1929 novel by Thomas Wolfe

Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life is a 1929 novel by Thomas Wolfe. It is Wolfe's first novel, and is considered a highly autobiographical American coming-of-age story. The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel briefly recounts Eugene's father's early life, but primarily covers the span of time from Eugene's birth in 1900 to his definitive departure from home at the age of 19. The setting is a fictionalization of his home town of Asheville, North Carolina, called Altamont in the novel.

<i>You Cant Go Home Again</i> 1940 novel by Thomas Wolfe

You Can't Go Home Again is a novel by Thomas Wolfe published posthumously in 1940, extracted by his editor, Edward Aswell, from the contents of his vast unpublished manuscript The October Fair. It is a sequel to The Web and the Rock, which, along with the collection The Hills Beyond, was extracted from the same manuscript.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elizabeth Spencer (writer)</span> American writer (1921–2019)

Elizabeth Spencer was an American writer. Spencer's first novel, Fire in the Morning, was published in 1948. She wrote a total of nine novels, seven collections of short stories, a memoir, and a play. Her novella The Light in the Piazza (1960) was adapted for the screen in 1962 and transformed into a Broadway musical of the same name in 2005. She was a five-time recipient of the O. Henry Award for short fiction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">F. Scott Fitzgerald</span> American writer (1896–1940)

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer. He is best known for his novels depicting the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age—a term he popularized in his short story collection Tales of the Jazz Age. During his lifetime, he published four novels, four story collections, and 164 short stories. Although he achieved temporary popular success and fortune in the 1920s, Fitzgerald received critical acclaim only after his death and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Wolfe House</span> Historic house in North Carolina, United States

The Thomas Wolfe House, also known as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, is a state historic site, historic house and museum located at 52 North Market Street in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. The American author Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938) lived in the home during his boyhood. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971 for its association with Wolfe. It is located in the Downtown Asheville Historic District.

<i>Look Homeward, Angel</i> (play)

Look Homeward, Angel is a 1957 stage play by the playwright Ketti Frings. The play is based on Thomas Wolfe's 1929 largely autobiographical novel of the same title.

<i>The Web and the Rock</i> Novel by Thomas Wolfe

The Web and the Rock is an American bildungsroman novel by Thomas Wolfe, published posthumously in 1939. Like its sequel, You Can't Go Home Again it was extracted by Edward Aswell from a larger manuscript after Wolfe's death.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edward Aswell</span> American editor

Edward Campbell Aswell was a 20th-century American editor. He was Thomas Wolfe's last editor and edited Wolfe's three posthumous books. This required considerable editorial work as the manuscripts were not in publishable form at Wolfe's death, but how much credit for the resulting three books devolves to Wolfe, and how much to Aswell, remains a subject of dispute.

<i>Genius</i> (2016 film) 2016 British-American biographical drama film by Michael Grandage

Genius is a 2016 biographical drama film directed by Michael Grandage and written by John Logan, based on the 1978 National Book Award-winner Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg. The film stars Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Laura Linney, Dominic West, and Guy Pearce. It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.

<i>Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe</i> Pulitzer winning 1988 biography

Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe is a 1987 biography of Thomas Wolfe by David Herbert Donald. It won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Biography.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James W. Reid (mayor)</span> American politician

James William Reid (1917-1972) was an American politician who served as the Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Terry Lee Roberts is an American educator and novelist. He has written extensively about American public education, specifically the teaching of critical and creative thinking via Socratic discussion. He is also the author of five novels, most of which flow out of his heritage in southern Appalachia. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Lynn.

Wiley Cash is a New York Times best-selling novelist from North Carolina. He is the author of three novels, A Land More Kind Than Home, This Dark Road to Mercy, and The Last Ballad. His work has won numerous awards, including the Southern Book Prize three times, and the Crime Writers' Association's CWA New Blood Dagger and Gold Dagger.