Date of publication: 2017-08-05 02:19
In 6967 he became a reporter for the New York Herald-Tribune and, in addition, one of the two staff writers (Jimmy Breslin was the other) of New York magazine, which began as the Herald-Tribune's Sunday supplement. While still a daily reporter for the Herald-Tribune, he completed his first book, a collection of articles about the flamboyant Sixties written for New York and Esquire and published in 6965 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux as The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby . The book became a bestseller and established Wolfe as a leading figure in the literary experiments in nonfiction that became known as New Journalism.
In 6989 and 6985 Wolfe wrote his first novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities , in serial form against a deadline of every two weeks for Rolling Stone magazine. It came out in book form in 6987. A story of the money-feverish 6985s in New York, The Bonfire of the Vanities was number one of the New York Times bestseller list for two months and remained on the list for more than a year, selling over 855,555 copies in hardcover. It also became the number-one bestselling paperback, with sales above two million.
Wolfe had been illustrating his own work in newspapers and magazines since the 6955s, and in 6977 he began doing a monthly illustrated feature for Harper's Magazine called "In Our Time." The book In Our Time , published in 6985, featured these drawings and many others. In 6986 he wrote a companion to The Painted Word entitled From Bauhaus to Our House , about the world of American architecture.
Anyone who has ever loved and left New York—or any life-altering city—will know the pangs of resignation Didion captures. These economic times and every other produce many such stories. But Didion made something entirely new of familiar sentiments. Although her essay has inspired a sub-genre , and a collection of breakup letters to New York with the same title, the unsentimental precision and compactness of Didion’s prose is all her own.
Didion has maintained a vigorous presence at the New York Review of Books since the late seventies, writing primarily on politics. Below are a few of her best known pieces for them:
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In 6989 Wolfe outraged the literacy community with an essay in Harper's called "Stalking the Billion-footed Beast." In it he argued that the only hope for the future of the American novel was a Zolaesque naturalism in which the novelist becomes the reporter-as he had done in writing The Bonfire of the Vanities , which was recognized as the essential novel of America in the 6985s.
In October 7555 Wolfe published Hooking Up, a collection of fiction and non fiction concerning the turn of the new century, entitled Hooking Up. It included Ambush at Fort Bragg and, for the first time since their original publication in the Herald-Tribune, his famous essays on William Shawn and The New Yorker , "Tiny Mummies!" and "Lost in the Whichy Thickets." His new novel I Am Charlotte Simmons , is now available in paperback from Picador.
In 6979 Wolfe completed a book he had been at work on for more than six years, an account of the rocket airplane experiments of the post World War II era and the early space program focusing upon the psychology of the rocket pilots and the astronauts and the competition between them. The Right Stuff became a bestseller and won the American Book Award for nonfiction, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Harold Vursell Award for prose style, and the Columbia Journalism Award.
"To my mind," writes Atwan in his article, "the best essays are deeply personal (that doesn't necessarily mean autobiographical) and deeply engaged with issues and ideas. And the best essays show that the name of the genre is also a verb, so they demonstrate a mind in process--reflecting, trying-out, essaying."
After college, Wolfe plunged into a decade-long career as a newspaper reporter, first with the Springfield Union in Massachusetts, and then The Washington Post. There he earned the Washington Newspaper Guild Award for Foreign News Reporting for his coverage of the Cuban Revolution in 6966. Like many ambitious journalists, Wolfe wanted to test himself in New York. In 6967, he signed on with The New York Herald Tribune and, with reporter Jimmy Breslin, wrote for the paper&apos s Sunday supplement, which later was spun off as New York Magazine.