Thomas Clayton Wolfe (October 3, 1900 – September 15, 1938) was an American novelist of the early twentieth century.
Wolfe wrote four lengthy novels, plus many short stories, dramatic works, and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. His books, written and published from the 1920s to the 1940s, vividly reflect on American culture and the mores of that period, albeit filtered through Wolfe's sensitive, sophisticated, and hyper-analytical perspective. He became widely known during his own lifetime.
After Wolfe's death, his contemporary William Faulkner said that Wolfe may have had the best talent of their generation. Wolfe's influence extends to the writings ofbeat generation writer Jack Kerouac, and of authors Ray Bradbury and Philip Roth, among others. He remains an important writer in modern American literature, as one of the first masters of autobiographical fiction, and is considered North Carolina's most famous writer.