Tom Wolfe, Groundbreaking Novelist and Nonfiction Pioneer, Gone at 88

Tom Wolfe at home in New York in 2016

Tom Wolfe at home in New York in 2016

He coined expressions such as "radical chic", for rich liberals fascinated with revolutionaries, and the "me generation", which nailed the self-absorption of 1970s baby boomers.

In his use of novelistic techniques in his non-fiction, Wolfe, beginning in the 1960s, helped create the enormously influential hybrid known as New Journalism.

"Tom Wolfe is a legend whose unique and innovative writing style changed the face of journalism, satire, and storytelling", said New York Public Library president Anthony W. Marx.

Wolfe became fascinated with astronauts after Rolling Stone magazine assigned him to cover an Apollo programme launch in 1972. 1983's "The Right Stuff", about the early days of the American space program, won critical raves and four Oscars. Bonfire, a best-seller that was a much-revised version of a serial he wrote for Rolling Stone, portrayed class struggles in New York City against a backdrop of Wall Street ambition, racial stress and yellow journalism.

USA trade representative office to hear corporations' case against tariffs
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said State Council Vice Premier, Liu He, would arrive in the US on Tuesday for trade negotiations. ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 13 cents to $71.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

When I arrived at my next editor in chief job, at NY magazine, my fundamentalist vision was to make it as much as possible like the NY to which Mr. Wolfe (and Ms. Ephron) had been a founding contributor 20 years earlier.

In this way, Wolfe was a pioneer of storytelling and creative nonfiction whose influence is still felt today.

"He is probably the most skillful writer in America - I mean by that he can do more things with words than anyone else", wrote William F. Buckley in the pages of the National Review.

Wolfe didn't begin his novels with a character and a plot so much as an idea, Tom Vitale of NPR explained. He had two children.

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