God bless Mark Bowden. In last month's Atlantic, the great investigative reporter wrote what no critic in America had the guts to say about Tom Wolfe's latest novel "I Am Charlotte Simmons" - i.e., that it's good. I suspect that Wolfe is maligned by the literary establishment for a number of reasons: 1) He's a great writer who also happens to sell millions of books; 2) He's on the Right, and how on earth can a good writer come from the Right? 3) That damn white suit.
If the mark of a good writer is durability, there's no doubt that Wolfe fits the bill; his books will be read 100 years from now as a portal into an epoch, much like Dickens, Zola and other great social writers. "In addition to being one of the most original stylists to ever write in the English language," writes Bowden. " Wolfe has long been America's most skillful satirist."