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Best-Selling Writer Tom Wolfe Dies At Age 88

Best-Selling Writer Tom Wolfe Dies At Age 88

Tom Wolfe, the essayist, journalist and author of bestselling books including The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Bonfire of the Vanities, has died at the age of 87.

His death was confirmed by his agent, Lynn Nesbit, who said Wolfe had been hospitalized with an infection.

"A cult is a religion with no political power".

His theory of literature, which he preached in print and in person and to anyone who would listen, was that journalism and nonfiction had "wiped out the novel as American literature's main event".

His first novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, arrived in 1987, skewering the excesses of the money-hungry 1980s.

By then he had already published a number of ground-breaking books of his own, including "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", in which Wolfe provided a psychedelic chronicle of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they experimented with LSD. He moved to New York in 1962 to join the New York Herald-Tribune and remained in the city for the rest of his life.

One of the genre's defining moments came when Wolfe was having trouble meeting a deadline for a 1964 magazine story on the hot-rod vehicle culture. The style relied on rich and detailed description that evoked a more literary style of prose than found in typical non-fiction works.

Wolfe's style was not for everyone. I wanted to do New York High and Low.

"Tom Wolfe and I were working on a sitcom with our third partner, Boyd Hale", Nutter said in the book.

More recently, Wolfe published "I Am Charlotte Simmons" (2004) and "Back to Blood" (2013).

Known as a natty dresser in his signature white three-piece suits and spectator shoes, Wolfe exhibited a bon vivant, man-about-town image, even though his roots traced to a Southern middle-class upbringing. He admitted he liked the attention they brought him.

Born in Richmond, Virginia in 1931, Wolfe attended Washington and Lee for undergrad and Yale for his Ph.D.

Wolfe is survived by Sheila Wolfe, his wife of almost 40 years; a son, Tommy Wolfe, and a daughter, Alexandra Wolfe.

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