Thomas Wolfe: A Biography by Elizabeth Nowell is a 456-page hardcover published in 1960 by Doubkeday & Company, New York. The dust jacket is in poor condition, with numerous chips, tears and rubbing to the clover, although it is intact. Inside, the book has fared much better, with only light bumping to the spine and corners, a small undetermined stain to the cover, but inside, the pages are clean and pristine, with sound binding. The condition is good.
From his earliest years Thomas Wolfe was at odds with his strong-willed, intemperate father and his property-hungry mother. He found in his elder brother Ben his one champion. After Ben's death in 1918 from pseumonia, young Tom became conscious of the demands of his own artistic nature: he realized that he must sever his connections at home and find a new world--the world of creativity that his sensitive soul and anguished heart seemed to demand.
The years ahead saw Wolfe struggling to find himself. And in this biography Miss Nowell has vividly described those years, which included his days as a student at Harvard under George Pierce Baker and later as an instructor at New York University. In 1929 Wolfe won his first recognition when Look Homeward, Angel was published. But success only added to his suffering. It was not until some five years later his second major novel, Of Time and the River, was published. Meanwhile, Wolfe was working at a furious pace gathering the material that was to constitute The Web and the Rock and You Can't Go Home Again as well as other works--on all of which much new light is shed through Miss Nowell's frequent use of quotations from Wolfe's own letters and writings.
Wolfe, throughout his entire life, never ended his self-finding crusade. He was constantly in need of a crutch to lean upon. Nobody understood his tormented soul and complex personality better than Elizabeth Nowell. With painstaking detail involving years of research and loyal devotion, she has written a powerful yet tender book about a great and irreplaceable American author.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 60-8689