A labor of concentrated devotion to an ideal, this collection of 700 letters form an 810 page spate of autobiographical writings, beginning with a boyhood letter in 1908 and ending twenty years later with a communication to Maxwell Perkins, his editor, as death drew near. We follow the course of a man finding his personal destiny at the University of North Carolina, at Harvard in Baker's 47 Workshop, in New York and Brooklyn, Europe and the West... The currents of his history run deep; here is the story of the homesick wanderer, the drama of his relationship with editor and publisher, his break to prove his independence. Here is his writing as a public affair, with fans and defamers, critics and colleagues, libel charges and business affairs. We see Tom Wolfe's nature in the emotional intensity and vigor of these letters; we follow the process of becoming a writer; we understand the practical problems of his profession (application for a Guggenheim, listing his favorite books, formulating a writer's creed, etc.). Many names appear as recipients:- John Wheelock, Frere Reeve, Aline Bernstein, Hamilton Basso, George Pierce Baker, Scott Fitzgerald, Mable Wolfe Wheaton, and others. His books are integral to the letters. The editor, his agent, places the letters in context, and supplies an introduction. There's a Life feature projected -- and a movie version of The Web and the Rock coming.