Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe dies aged 88


Tom Wolfe

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Frank Micelotta

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Wolfe also pioneered New Journalism

Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 88, his agent has confirmed.

The Right Stuff, about the first American astronauts, was adapted into a film in 1983 with Sam Shepard, Dennis Quaid and Ed Harris.

The Bonfire of the Vanities, published in 1987, was a satire of 1980s excesses in New York and was also made into a film starring Tom Hanks in 1990.

He also wrote the cult classic Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, published in 1968.

Wolfe died of an unspecified infection in a New York City hospital, his agent, Lynn Nesbit, told Reuters.

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Getty Images

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Tom Wolfe with Gloria Steinem – he was named GQ Man of the Year in 2015

He was a pioneer of New Journalism, which developed in the 1960s and 1970s, a literary style known written from a subjective perspective as opposed to more traditional objective journalism.

Wolfe’s book The New Journalism, published in 1973, was a collection of work by the likes of Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson and Norman Mailer.

The editor of the New York Times described Wolfe’s passing as the “passing of an era”.

Irish Times journalist noted his impact on modern journalism.


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