New York: Award winning writer and journalist Tom Wolfe, who is noted for works like ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’, ‘The Right Stuff’ and ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’ has passed away in the US. He was 88.
Wolfe who pioneered “new journalism” passed away in Manhattan on Monday, his agent confirmed the news to the New York Times on Tuesday. He had been hospitalised with an infection.
Wolfe, who began working as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune in 1962, was a pioneer of “new journalism”, which melded traditional reporting methods and literary fiction techniques.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1930, Wolfe attended Washington and Lee for undergraduate and Yale for his Ph.D. before moving to New York in the 1960s, the New York Post reported.
Wolfe worked as a reporter at the Springfield Union in Massachusetts and as the Latin American correspondent for the Washington Post.
His first book “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby” was a collection of essays originally published in Esquire magazine.
While the stories have no connecting theme, this is the first book that gave early examples of New Journalism.
Wolfe’s other books include “The Pump House Gang”, “Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers”, “The Painted Word” and “Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine” which includes his well-known essay about the “Me Decade.”
His best-selling book “The Right Stuff” which is about rocket airplane experiments after World War II and the Project Mercury astronauts, won the American Book Award for nonfiction, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Harold Vursell Award for prose style, and the Columbia Journalism Award.
Wolfe’s first novel “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” was first serialised in Rolling Stone magazine and came out as a book three years later. It followed the greed, racism and social classes of New York City in the 1980s.
Wolfe is survived by his wife, Sheila, and two children, Alexandra and Tommy.