Best-selling author Tom Wolfe dies at 88

Best-selling author Tom Wolfe dies at 88

Author and journalist Tom Wolfe died Monday at a Manhattan hospital, his agent Lyn Nesbit confirmed to the Los Angles Times. After that, he wrote his books by hand. But the author of such classics as The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities will be remembered for something else, too: his suit.

By then, he had earned wide acclaim for a number of ground-breaking books, including "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", in which he chronicled the psychedelic exploits of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters as they gobbled LSD and rode a bus across the country and cavorting with counterculture luminaries such as the Grateful Dead (known then as The Warlocks), Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady. By looking so out of place, he figured people would be more prone to explain things to him.

The main principle is based Wolfe of the "new journalism" - the documentary description of events using artistic techniques that are usually used when writing novels, allowing you to influence the reader not only intellectually, but also emotionally.

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 auto culture.

At the time of the interview, Wolfe was researching a book on the medical profession. These, too, were part of Wolfe's style.

Wolfe never converted to writing on a computer.

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Wolfe became fascinated with astronauts after Rolling Stone magazine assigned him to cover an Apollo program launch in 1972.

"The right stuff" described the intangible characteristics of the first United States astronauts and test pilots.

It followed the greed, racism and social classes of New York City in the 1980s. Along with Gay Talese, Truman Capote and Nora Ephron, he helped demonstrate that journalism could offer the kinds of literary pleasure found in books.

"Nothing fuels the imagination more than real facts do", Wolfe told the AP in 1999. 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". Wolfe himself dressed for company - his trademark a pale three-piece suit, impossibly high shirt collar, two-tone shoes and a silk tie.

Wolfe was born March 2, 1930 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia, the son of an agronomist father and an arts-oriented mother.

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