Wolfe’s World

Charles McGrath, New York Times Magazine, October 31, 2004.


Could these be the wheels of Tom Wolfe, 74-year-old novelist and former ”new journalist,” who at this very moment is holed up here in a rented house, same one he has rented for more than two decades . . . couldn’t he afford one of his own by now? What’s he waiting for, Long Island real estate to come down?

He’s working — toiling, to tell the truth — on his new novel, ”I Am Charlotte Simmons,” his first since ”A Man in Full” came out in 1998, which was 11 years after ”The Bonfire of the Vanities,” so he’s getting a little faster maybe, but it’s not coming any more easily, this novel-writing business. Here we are in late June already, and the book comes out in November, for chrissake, and he hasn’t worked out the ending yet, he’s still moving chapters around, cutting, adding. . . . He just turned one of the characters, Charlotte’s roommate, Beverly, from a fatty to an anorexic!

New York Times