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Thomas Clayton Wolfe was a prominent American novelist of the early 20th century, known for his lyrical and autobiographical writing style. Wolfe's work vividly reflects American culture and the mores of his time, filtered through his sensitive and hyper-analytical perspective.
His first book, 'Look Homeward, Angel' (1929), is considered his most notable work, introducing his alter ego, Eugene Gant, and earning him critical acclaim. Wolfe's influence on American literature is significant, with contemporary author William Faulkner stating that Wolfe might have been the greatest talent of their generation.
His other notable works include 'Of Time And The River' (1935), 'The Web And The Rock' (1939), and 'You Can't Go Home Again' (1940), all of which were autobiographical novels. Despite his untimely death at the age of 37, Wolfe's legacy endures as one of America's most influential writers.
Thomas Wolfe had a net worth of at least $1 million at the time of his death.
Exact details of Thomas Wolfe's annual earnings during his lifetime are not available in credible sources.
Thomas Wolfe was about 6 ft 6.5 in (199 cm) tall.
Thomas Clayton Wolfe was born on October 3, 1900, and died on September 15, 1938. Therefore, at the time of Wolfe's death, he was 37 years old.
Thomas Clayton Wolfe was born in Asheville, North Carolina, the youngest of eight children to William Oliver Wolfe, a stonecutter, and Julia Elizabeth Westall, a boardinghouse owner. His siblings' names were Leslie E. Wolfe, Effie Nelson Wolfe, Frank Cecil Wolfe, Mabel Elizabeth Wolfe, Grover Cleveland Wolfe, Benjamin Harrison Wolfe, and Fredrick William Wolfe.
Wolfe's childhood was marked by a sense of separation from his family, as his mother moved him to live with her in the boardinghouse she managed, away from the rest of his siblings. Despite this, Wolfe developed a love for language and reading, devouring works by authors like Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, and Herman Melville.
Wolfe began his education in Asheville, and at the age of 15, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There, he began his writing career, penning and acting in several one-act plays, and editing the student newspaper, The Tar Heel. He won the Worth Prize For Philosophy for his essay 'The Crisis In Industry'. After graduating in 1920, Wolfe got into Harvard University, where he studied playwriting under the tutelage of George Pierce Baker.
Thomas Wolfe had a notable romantic relationship with Aline Bernstein, a costume and set designer, which spanned several years. However, there is not much information about who he was involved with at the time of his death.
Thomas Wolfe is best known for his first book, 'Look Homeward, Angel' (1929), and his other autobiographical novels. Wolfe's writing is characterized by a mix of highly original, rhapsodic, poetic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical elements.
Wolfe's career began at the University of North Carolina, where he wrote and acted in several one-act plays. After graduating, he enrolled in George Pierce Baker’s 47 Workshop at Harvard University, to become a playwright. Some of his plays were produced at Harvard, such as 'Welcome To Our City' (1923). Wolfe started teaching at Washington Square College of New York University in 1924. After the publication of 'Look Homeward, Angel', Wolfe quit teaching and began writing full-time. His second novel, 'Of Time And The River' (1935), continued the story of his alter ego, Eugene Gant.
At his death, he left a large quantity of manuscripts, from which the editor Edward Aswell got two more novels, 'The Web And The Rock' (1939) and 'You Can’t Go Home Again' (1940). These books portray a budding writer's journey to success in New York City and his initial experience with literary recognition.
Thomas Wolfe received several posthumous recognitions and awards. While he was a student at the University of North Carolina, he won the Worth Prize For Philosophy for an essay titled 'The Crisis In Industry'. Also, in March 1930, Wolfe was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
After his death, several awards were established in his honor. Notable examples include the annual Thomas Wolfe Prize And Lecture, presented by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to a contemporary writer. Also, the Western North Carolina Historical Association presents the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award annually for a literary achievement of the previous year.
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