Tobias Wolff Biography | Author of In the Garden of the North American Martyrs

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The widely respected author Tobias Wolff followed an unlikely and meandering path to such a position. As his memoir This Boy's Life chronicles, Wolff's childhood and adolescence were unconventional and unpromising. Wolff was born in 1945 in Birmingham, Alabama, the second son of Arthur Wolff, an aeronautical engineer, and his wife, Rosemary. When Wolff was four his parents separated. His brother Geoffrey stayed with his father, and Wolff moved on with his mother.

Wolff and his mother moved from Florida to Utah, to Seattle, before settling in the remote Washington town of Chinook. His adolescence was characterized by loneliness, delinquency, and abuse from his stepfather. Finally fed up with his own dead-end life in high school, Wolff reestablished contact with his brother. Geoffrey Wolff, then a student at Princeton University, encouraged his younger brother to make more of himself and helped him channel his imagination into writing. Not completely...

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This section contains 365 words
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Buy the In the Garden of the North American Martyrs Study Guide
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In the Garden of the North American Martyrs from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.