Intense, volatile, and spontaneous, Stephen Crane (18711900) expended himself in a frenzied search for experiences about which to write. While attending Syracuse University, he finished the first draft of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, leaving to become a freelance writer in New York. In 1895, the young author, who had never seen a battle, published The Red Badge of Courage, the extraordinary revelation of the mind and heart of a Civil War recruit. This book made Crane famous and established his reputation as a war correspondent. Pursuing a career as a journalist, Crane traveled to Greece to cover the war with Turkey and to Cuba to report on the Spanish-American War. His experience being shipwrecked led to the short story The Open Boat.” He died of tuberculosis at Badenweiler, Germany.
Born in Brooklyn, Alfred Kazin (191598) was a prolific literary critic and social historian whose reputation was established early with the publication of On Native Grounds: An Interpretation of Modern American Prose Literature (1942). Among his many other acclaimed books are his trilogy of memoirs: A Walker in the City, Starting Out in the Thirties, and New York Jew. In 1996, he was awarded the first Truman Capote Lifetime Achievement Award in Literary Criticism.
Tom Wolfe was born in Richmond, Virginia, and was educated at Washington and Lee and Yale universities. He began his career as a reporter on the Springfield (Massachusetts) Union and served as the Washington Post’s Latin American correspondent, winning the Washington Newspaper Guild’s foreign news prize for his coverage of Cuba. In 1962, he became a reporter for the New York Herald-Tribune. His first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965), established Wolfe as a leading figure in what became known as New Journalism. Subsequent nonfiction bestsellers include The Pump House Gang and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (both 1968), Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers (1970) and The Right Stuff (1979), which won the American Book Award for Nonfiction. His novels include The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), A Man in Full (1998), I Am Charlotte Simmons (2004), and Back to Blood (2012).