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New journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe dead at 88

18 May 2018

Wolfe, who began working as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune in 1962, was a pioneer of "new journalism", which melded traditional reporting methods and literary fiction techniques. Wolfe edited a volume of work by himself and other prominent writers of the era, including Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, titled "The New Journalism". "The Right Stuff" was a big hit and went on to became a fan favorite to this day.

In 1979, he published The Right Stuff, a portrait of American heroism, viewed through the exploits of military test pilots and astronauts known as the Mercury Seven, which was made into a successful movie in 1983.

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Wolfe covered a range of topics in his prose, from Ken Kesey and the Beat Generation in the 1968 nonfiction book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" to Cuban immigrants in Miami in 2012 novel "Back to Blood".

In 2016, Wolfe published his last book, "The Kingdom of Speech", which sought to challenge society's understanding of Darwinism. "They called my brilliant manuscript "journalistic" and 'reactionary, ' which means I must go through with a blue pencil and strike out all the laughs and anti-Red passages and slip in a little liberal merde, so to speak, just to sweeten it".

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Wolfe, known for his signature white suit, was easily recognizable when taking walks in his neighborhood.

Trained as a journalist, Wolfe was equally adept at non-fiction and fiction in a career that spanned over half a century. "And one ... coming up is on political correctness, which I think is the funniest subject in a long- in a long, long time", Wolfe said.

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New journalism pioneer Tom Wolfe dead at 88