Tom Wolfe’s silver-topped cane pointed towards the future

US literature’s spat-sporting heavyweight infuriated many, and influenced many more

Fiction, history, and journalism are separate heavyweight divisions of American literature, with their own champions. Tom Wolfe, who has died aged 88, was remarkable for having been a superstar in all three.

But Wolfe also united the belts by freely importing moves and punches from one discipline into the others. His fiction was reportorial, his factual writing novelistic, and his journalism cinematic and theatrical.

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