Author Tom Wolfe dead at 88

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Author and journalist Tom Wolfe has died, aged 88.

His death on Monday was confirmed by his agent, Ms Lynn Nesbit, who said Wolfe had been hospitalised in a Manhattan hospital with an infection.

'He was a sweet and generous man, not just a great writer but a great soul, ' said Moneyball author Michael Lewis.

Wolfe's other books include The Pump House Gang, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, The Painted Word and Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine which includes his well-known essay about the "Me Decade".

In addition to his novels and nonfiction books, Wolfe pioneered the "New Journalism" style, which combined reporting with creative literary techniques. I didn't consciously model my first novel, "Turn of the Century", on Mr. Wolfe's first novel, "The Bonfire of the Vanities", but I was a middle-aged magazine journalist, and it was a big, panoramic social comedy set in NY about the media and rich people and failure, so when half the reviews and articles compared it to "Bonfire", I just shut up and smiled.

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"The Right Stuff" was adopted into a film in 1983.

Wolfe, known for his signature white suit, was easily recognizable when taking walks in his neighborhood.

His first try at fiction was The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1987, which captured the cultural feel of free-wheeling Wall Street "masters of the universe" as well as his non-fiction books did.

"To be honest, I have only five more planned".

Wolfe didn't begin his novels with a character and a plot so much as an idea, Tom Vitale of NPR explained. I had the same lack of education, and in 1984 I presumed to become Time's architecture and design critic. He is survived by his wife Sheila, the cover designer for Harper's Magazine, his daughter Alexandra, and son Tommy.