This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for October 3, 2017: Lives of the Great Composers

October 3, 2017: birthday: Thomas Clayton Wolfe

It’s the birthday of author Thomas Clayton Wolfe (books by this author), born in Asheville, North Carolina (1900). His childhood in the boardinghouse at 48 Spruce Street colored his work and influenced the rest of his life. Wolfe’s father drank heavily and his mother was ahead of her time as a successful female real estate speculator. His reminiscences of his life in Asheville were so frank and realistic that Look Homeward, Angel was banned from Asheville’s public library for over seven years. Look Homeward, Angel is the story of Eugene Gant, a sensitive, intelligent boy growing up in a small Southern mountain city. Wolfe, who was a teacher, left his job after the success of the novel and continued writing. In New York City, he met Aline Bernstein, a successful set and costume designer in the New York theater, and they began a passionate and turbulent love affair. She was almost 20 years older than Wolfe, married, and the mother of two grown children. With the aid of Mrs. Bernstein, he was able to continue his writing in New York.