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LIVE from the NYPL: Back to Blood: TOM WOLFE in conversation with Paul Holdengräber
November 29, 2012
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum
“A phrase pops into his head from out of nowhere. ‘Everybody...all of them...it’s back to blood! Religion is dying...but everybody still has to believe in something. It would be intolerable—you couldn’t stand it—to finally have to say to yourself, ‘Why keep pretending? I’m nothing but a random atom inside a supercollider known as the universe.’ But believing in by definition means blindly, irrationally, doesn’t it. So, my people, that leaves only our blood, the bloodlines that course through our very bodies, to unite us. ‘La Raza!’ as the Puerto Ricans cry out. ‘The Race!’ cries the whole world.’”
--Tom Wolfe, Back to Blood
Based on the same style of detailed, on-scene, high-energy reporting that powered Tom Wolfe’s previous best-selling novels, Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full, Back to Blood is another reckoning, this time set in Miami. The story focuses on the hot-button issue of immigration, featuring characters of Cuban, Haitian, Russian, and French ancestry thrown into situations rife with racial anxieties.
In conversation with Paul Holdengräber, Wolfe will discuss Back to Blood and the issues that abound in a melting-pot city like Miami, as well as how weaving journalism and fiction together calls attention to real issues in ways that objective reporting cannot.
TOM WOLFE is the author of more than a dozen books, among them The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, and I Am Charlotte Simmons. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he earned his B.A. at Washington and Lee University and a Ph.D. in American studies at Yale. He lives in New York City.
This event is sponsored by
LIVE from the NYPL is made possible with generous support from Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, and the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund.