Tom Wolfe, the “founding father” of ” the New Journalism” died yesterday. I can’t remember a time when Wolfe, was not my favorite writer. I have read all of his books from the Kandy Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby (1965) to The Kingdom of Speech (2016), … as well as every article I could chase down. In the early 1980’s I started to compile the ultimate Tom Wolfe bibliography. I confess, it is a project I did not complete, but I had boxes of index cards and a primitive software called Biblio-file. I remember the disappointment of tracking down the archive of his early writings at the defunct New York Herald Tribune. The librarian at the Queens Borough Public Library reported that although they still had the Herald archive, the Tom Wolfe “clipping” folder was missing.
After meeting Wolfe at a lecture and explaining my bibliography project, I sent him a letter asking for help tracking down his works which had appeared in lesser known publications. Instead of getting a form letter from his agent I received something that was more like a work of art from the author.
I guess it’s time to get my Tom Wolfe “art works” framed. So sorry to see him go!