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US author Tom Wolfe dies aged 87

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Tom WolfeImage copyright
Frank Micelotta

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Wolfe also pioneered New Journalism

Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 87, 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.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

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.

Wolfe won the Bad Sex in Fiction prize in 2004 for I Am Charlotte Simmons and was also shortlisted in 2012 for Back to Blood.



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