Two famous authors have similar names: Thomas Wolfe and Tom Wolfe, but the one whose house is in Asheville, North Carolina, is Thomas Wolfe, author of the classic Look, Homeward Angel. This dark story, published in 1929, is complex — the kind of book to read in small chunks in order to give it the the reflection the masterpiece deserves.
The Thomas Wolfe House in Asheville (population approximately 92,000) memorializes the author’s life in his hometown, and its website offers activities for kids. It also has a very active and popular Facebook page.
Back in the day, the Asheville community recognized some of its citizens as characters in his book and were not happy. According to wolfememorial.com, “The truth was that over two hundred characters were based upon living people, many living citizens of Asheville, including his family. Their personal flaws and failures were exposed for the world to see. Asheville was shocked, as was his family. The violent reaction in his hometown to his work resulted in a self-imposed exile from Asheville for the next eight years.”
“Genius” is an excellent 2016 film about the relationship between Thomas Wolfe and editor Maxwell Perkins. You can read about it here: Genius.
The Thomas Wolfe House is the eighth stop on our North Carolina Author Adventures Trail.