Who's Afraid of Tom Wolfe?

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Author: Marc Weingarten

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The list of classic works of New Journalism goes on and on: In Cold Blood, The Right Stuff, Armies of the Night, Dispatches, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hiroshima, Slouching Towards Bethlehem: not only are they all still in print after 40 years, but also as accepted classics. Their authors - Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, Michael Herr, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer - are also acknowledged as some of America's greatest twentieth-century writers. But they wrote non-fiction, not novels, about big subjects like Vietnam, the Hippie culture, notorious murders, the space programme. And the then revolutionary new brand of non-fiction they pioneered - narrative and novelistic, yet documentary and often with a spacedout, forensic detachment - has now become so much part of the mainstream that we can read books like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil without realising their debt to the early New Journalists of the sixties. Marc Weingarten's book tells for the first time how they pushed reportage beyond its narrow limits and changed the literary culture, and the fascinating stories behind the research and writing of books such as in Cold Blood.
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