The first novel by the great American novelist, now the subject of a major new film, Genius, starring Jude Law, Colin Firth, Dominic West and Nicole Kidman.
Eugene Gant, born in 1900 to hard-drinking stone-cutter Oliver and entrepreneurial Eliza, grows up in small-town America. Both lonely outsider and passionate chronicler of American life, Eugene experiences upheaval and family tragedy before coming to realise that he must leave his home behind if he is to forge his own path in the world. This is the dazzlingly rich first novel from one of the most brilliant and mercurial voices of early twentieth-century, who was a major influence on writers including Hunter S. Thompson, Ray Bradbury, Philip Roth and the Beats.
This new edition includes an introduction by Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian. Wolfe's second novel, Of Time and the River, continuing the story of Eugene Gant, is also now available in Penguin Classics.
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
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
Language as rich and ambitious and intensely American as any of our novelists has ever accomplished
He had that flair for the extravagant and fantastic which has been an American characteristic from Irving and Poe to Dashiell Hammett
The product of an immense exuberance, organic in its form, kinetic, and drenched with the love of life ... I rejoice over Mr. Wolfe