Bestselling author Tom Wolfe dies in NY

ImageTom Wolfe in 1988. He was known for his verbal pyrotechnics in books like “The Right Stuff.”CreditÁngel Franco  The New York Times

Wolfe's agent confirmed the sad news to the New York Times.

Additional details were not immediately available.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that Wolfe's "wry wit and sharp observations defined an era of life in New York".

His hyperbolic, stylised writing work was a gleeful fusillade of exclamation points, italics and improbable words.

He was also known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" - a derogatory term for pretentious liberals - and "the me decade", which described the self-indulgence of the 1970s.

"Tom Wolfe and I were working on a sitcom with our third partner, Boyd Hale", Nutter said in the book. Also unlike earlier writers, he sought to confront America's social issues head on and scorned what he saw as the self-absorption of many of his contemporaries.

The more famous Tom Wolfe had no direct role in the two more noteworthy Hollywood adaptations of his work. "As the saying goes, 'You can't make this stuff up"'.

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Writer Joseph Epstein wrote in The New Republic: "As a titlist of flamboyance, he is without peer in the Western world". And he acknowledged that he cared - very much - about his reputation.

"It's quite humbling to know that, despite all your aspirations, all of your dreams and all the talents you think you have, you're made of clay", Wolfe once mused in a conversation with Morley Safer on 60 Minutes.

Among his acclaimed books were The Right Stuff and The Bonfire Of The Vanities, a satire of Manhattan-style power and justice that became one of the best-selling books of the Eighties. Its 1998 follow-up, A Man in Full, was another best-seller and a National Book Award nominee.

His journalism career got off to a slow start.

New Journalism mixed traditional journalism for stylized journalism, and "saturation reporting", where a reporter would shadow the subject, observes them over an extended period of time.

By then he had already published a number of ground-breaking books of his own, including "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", in which Wolfe provided a psychedelic chronicle of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they experimented with LSD.

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