Tobias Wolff’s writing career is distinguished for its form, its moral tone, and its religious language. His form tends strongly towards brevity—the exceptions to this tendency lying in his early novel Ugly Rumours (1975), published only in England (and which he has described as “juvenilia” better left unpublished), his 1984 PEN/Faulkner-prize-winning novella The Barracks Thief, which in its scope and length (101 pages) is little longer than a long short story, and his novel, Old School (2003), which takes the tone, if not the form, of a expanded and fictionalized memoir chapter. The distinction between his two primary genres, the short story and the personal memoir, is sometimes elusive: the …
Goldleaf, Steven. "Tobias Wolff". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2011; last revised 30 November -1.
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