Tom Wolfe Awarded Chicago Tribune Literary Prize

Posted on October 10, 2003

Author Tom Wolfe has been named the recipient of the 2003 Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for his lifetime of achievements. Wolfe began his career as a newspaperman and went on to champion the role of the novelist as reporter, while penning some of the most provocative fiction and non-fiction of the latter half of the 20th Century.

The author of The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full, and originator of the phrase "the Me Decade" will receive his award Sunday, Nov. 2, at Chicago's Symphony Center, where Wolfe will deliver the annual Chicago Tribune Lecture as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

"Whether writing about the birth of the space program or status-obsessed New Yorkers, Tom Wolfe has a unique talent for defining a particular moment or place in American life," said Ann Marie Lipinski, editor of the Chicago Tribune. "His gift to readers lies in his roots as a reporter and his insistence on bringing the same level of truth, accuracy and realism to his works of fiction as to his non-fiction."

The Tribune previously announced Lois Lowry as the recipient of its Young Adult Book Prize, which honors a writer whose work has special resonance with younger readers. Lowry is the author of nearly 30 books and was recognized by the Tribune for her latest effort, The Silent Boy. The prize will be presented to Lowry on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Harold Washington Library Center as part of the programming for the Children's Humanities Festival.

In addition to these two awards, which were established in 2002, Chicago Tribune announced the 2003 winners of the established Heartland Prizes.

Scott Turow is honored with the Heartland Prize for fiction for Reversible Errors; Paul Hendrickson, author of Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy, is awarded the Heartland Prize for nonfiction. Turow and Hendrickson will receive their awards at an event scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 2, also as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

The Tribune established the Heartland Prizes in 1988 to recognize each year a novel and work of non-fiction that reinforce and perpetuate the values of heartland America. Past honorees in the fiction category include Alice Sebold, Jane Smiley, Annie Proulx and Charles Frazier.

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