Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch19

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch19

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), one of the most autobiographical of major American novelists;
  • Look Homeward, Angel - Wolfe dedicating the novel to Bernstein;
  • O Lost,” Wolfe, finishing it in March 1928, titled at that point - rejected by three publishers;
  • original “O Lost” manuscript - published by University of South Carolina Press;
  • Scribner's Magazine, August of 1929 - publishing a story, originally written as part of Look Homeward, Angel, “An Angel on the Porch”;
  • citizens of Asheville, outraged by book's treatment of the town;
  • novel, telling the story of Eugene Gant - a surrogate for the author, and journey of self-discovery;
  • Look Homeward, Angel, not a bestseller - sold steadily, considered for Pulitzer Prize, bringing Wolfe attention in literary and social circles;
  • perfunctory ending to Of Time and the River - example of general formlessness, from cuts and hastily written new transitions by writer and editor;
  • textual history of Wolfe's posthumous novels - complicating assessments, of the direction that Wolfe's work takes in his last years


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography