“In 1949, when I was sixteen, I stumbled on Thomas Wolfe, who died at thirty-eight in 1938, and who made numerous adolescents aside from me devotees of literature for life. In Wolfe, everything was heroically outsized, whether it was the voracious appetite for experience of Eugene Gant, the hero of his first two novels, or of George Webber, the hero of his last two. The hero's loneliness, his egocentrism, his sprawling consciousness gave rise to a tone of elegiac lyricism that was endlessly sustained by the raw yearning for an epic existence—for an epic American
existence. And, in those postwar years, what imaginative young reader didn't yearn for that?” (Philip Roth)
"Language as rich and ambitious and intensely American as any of our novelists has ever accomplished." -- Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain
and Thirteen Moons
"Look Homeward, Angel
is one of the most important novels of my life. . . . It's a wonderful story for any young person burning with literary ambition, but it also speaks to the longings of our whole lives; I'm still moved by Wolfe's ability to convey the human appetite for understanding and experience." -- Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian
"Wolfe made it possible to believe that the stuff of life, with all its awe and mystery and magic, could by some strange alchemy be transmuted to the page." -- William Gay, author of The Long Home
"As so many other American boys had before and have since, I discovered a version of myself in Look Homeward, Angel
, and I became intoxicated with the elevated, poetic prose." -- Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek
From the Publisher
Look Homeward, Angel
is an elaborate and moving coming-of-age story about Eugene Gant, a restless and energetic character whose passion to experience life takes him from his small, rural hometown in North Carolina to Harvard University and the city of Boston. The novel's pattern is artfully simple -- a small town, a large family, high school and college -- yet the characters are monumental in their graphic individuality and personality.
Through his rich, ornate prose, Wolfe evokes the extraordinarily vivid family of the Gants, and with equal detail, the remarkable peculiarities of small-town life and the pain and upheaval of a boy who must leave both. A classic work of American literature, Look Homeward, Angel is a passionate, stirring, and unforgettable novel.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.