Tobias Wolff is an American author born on June 19, 1945, best known for his memoirs and short stories. His writing is acclaimed for its concise, elegant prose and its deep explorations of complex human relationships and moral dilemmas.
Wolff's most prominent work, "This Boy's Life" (1989), is a memoir that details his challenging childhood and teenage years as he navigated a tumultuous relationship with his stepfather and the process of finding his identity. The book was later adapted into a motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Wolff followed his debut memoir with "In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War" (1994), recounting his experience as a soldier during the Vietnam War.
His mastery of the short story format can be seen in collections like "In the Garden of the North American Martyrs" (1981), "Back in the World" (1985), and "The Night in Question" (1996), among others. Wolff's stories often touch on redemption, honesty, and self-deception, dissecting the human condition with both compassion and critical scrutiny.
Wolff's list of accolades includes a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for his novel "The Barracks Thief" (1984) and a National Medal of Arts, which he received in 2015. His work continues to inspire and influence writers and readers who appreciate the craft of tightly paced narrative and psychological nuance.
A veteran academic, Wolff has taught creative writing at institutions such as Syracuse University and Stanford University, where he was a Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences before retiring.