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Of Time and the River

Of Time and the River

A Legend of Man's Hunger in His Youth

The sequel to Thomas Wolfe's remarkable first novel, Look Homeward, Angel, Of Time and the River is one of the great classics of American literature. The book chronicles the maturing of Wolfe's autobiographical character, Eugene Gant, in his desperate search for fulfillment, making his way from small-town North Carolina to the wider world of Harvard University, New York City, and Europe. In a massive, ambitious, and boldly passionate novel, Wolfe examines the passing of time and the nature of the creative process, as Gant slowly but ecstatically embraces the urban life, recognizing it as a necessary ordeal for the birth of his creative genius as a writer.
The work of an exceptionally expressive writer of fertile imagination and startling emotional intensity, Of Time and the River illuminates universal truths about art and life, city and country, past and present. It is a novel that is majestic and enduring. As P. M. Jack observed in The New York Times, "It is a triumphant demonstration that Thomas Wolfe has the stamina to produce a magnificent epic of American life."
This edition, published in celebration of Wolfe's centennial anniversary, contains a new introduction by Pat Conroy.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 896 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684867854 | 
  • September 1999
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Read an Excerpt

Chapeter One

About fifteen years ago, at the end of the second decade of this century, four people were standing together on the platform of the railway station of a town in the hills of western Catawba. This little station, really just a suburban adjunct of the larger town which, behind the concealing barrier of a rising ground, swept away a mile or two to the west and north, had become in recent years the popular point of arrival and departure for travellers to and from the cities of the east, and now, in fact, accommodated a much larger traffic than did the central station of the town, which was situated two miles westward around the... see more

About the Author

Thomas Wolfe
Courtesy of the Thomas Wolfe Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville, NC

Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and educated at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University. He taught English at New York University and traveled extensively in Europe and America. Wolfe created his indelible legacy as a classic American novelist with works including Of Time and the River; A Stone, a Leaf, a Door; and From Death to Morning. He died in 1938.

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