Born: 19 June 1945
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama
Best known as: Author of the memoir This Boy's Life
Tobias Wolff is best known as the author of This Boy's Life (1989), a funny-sad memoir of growing up with an itinerant mother and abusive step-father. Born in Alabama, Wolff grew up mostly in the Skagit River Valley of Washington State. His four years in the Army (1964-68) included a tour of duty in Vietnam. After graduating from Oxford, Wolff was awarded a writing fellowship at Stanford University in 1975. His first collections of short stories, In the Garden of North American Martyrs (1981) and Back in the World (1985), were both well received, but it was This Boy's Life that made Wolff famous. (The book was made into a 1993 movie with Robert DeNiro and young Leonardo DiCaprio.) He has since published In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War (1994), a memoir of his experiences in Vietnam, The Night in Question (1996), another collection of short stories, and the novels The Barracks Thief (which won the 1985 PEN/Faulkner Award) and Old School (2003). Wolff has also published dozens of magazine pieces and edited a book of stories by Anton Chekhov.
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