Issue 35, Final Fringe

Tagged: The Right Stuff

White Suit in the White City


Best-selling author and journalist Tom Wolfe made an appearance Thursday as “The Right Stuff” was selected for The Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago program this fall.

I must admit, I feel somewhat perverse writing a blog about him after he said tersely in an interview with journalist Carol Marin, “Blogs fascinate me…they’re a new world for people who will believe anything.” Believe me when I say meeting Tom Wolfe was truly an unforgettable experience.

After much discussion, Marin finally got to the question everyone’s been dying to know, “What’s with the white suit?” Anybody who knows anything about Wolfe knows he’s famous for wearing a white suit and fedora during any appearance.

Wolfe said the white suit is “the man from Mars” approach. He said he never blended in with the crowd and wearing the white suit provides a barrier between himself and his subjects, as he has reported a variety of subjects from NASCAR drivers, to Black Panthers, to Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, to the first men to launch into outer space – just to name a few. He described it as “The man who doesn’t know anything and is eager to know.”

His opinion of modern authors who have “the... more »

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