Thomas Clayton Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe was born in 1900 in Asheville, North Carolina the youngest of 8 children. His mother ran a 29 room boarding house called My Old Kentucky Home. His father ran a tombstone shop.

He enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when he was sixteen years old and was already 6’7″” tall. He had an aptitude for writing and after he graduated, attended Harvard for three years and graduated with a Masters degree. He taught English in New York while writing his first book. During these years he lost two brothers and his father.

He wrote four great long novels, two published posthumously, as well as plays, short stories, and seven short novels. He died at 37 of tubercular meningitis. He is usually considered one of the great writers of this century, ranking along side of Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who had the same publisher. He immortalized his family and turn of the century Asheville in his work Look Homeward Angel. This was such thinly disguised autobiography that it was banned in the Asheville Library for a few years. However the book is so great it has never been out of print since 1929.

The boarding house is now the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in his hometown.