The Zelda & Paul Gitlin Literary Prize

Purpose: To award an annual prize to the person judged to have written the best scholarly article on Thomas Wolfe, published during the preceding calendar year.

Rules and Procedures: The selection of the yearly prize winner is made by the Zelda & Paul Gitlin Literary Prize Committee, which consists of three members appointed for three-year terms by the president of the Thomas Wolfe Society. At the end of the calendar year, the chair requests that the other two committee members send their top three choices for the prize, ranked in order of preference. The chair adds his or her own choices to these and then reports the results to the other two committee members. Committee members are ineligible to receive the prize during their term of service. Also ineligible is any article that has received or is receiving the Society’s Thomas Wolfe Student Essay Prize.

The Zelda & Paul Gitlin Literary Prize Committee encourages Wolfeans to bring to the chair’s attention any article on Thomas Wolfe that is of significant scholarly interest. Meritorious articles appearing in journals that might not come to the attention of the chair are of special interest.

The Zelda & Paul Gitlin Literary Prize committee for the 2022 prize (which will be awarded in 2023) is:

The Zelda & Paul Gitlin Literary Prize
Martha Jennette (Chair)
Bob R. Powell
Anne R. Zahlan

Originally sponsored by the late Paul Gitlin, then Administrator of the Estate of Thomas Wolfe.

Prize: $250.

Announcement of Winner: At the awards banquet of the annual Thomas Wolfe Society meeting.

Recipients of the Zelda & Paul Gitlin Literary Prize

1982 Louis D. Rubin Jr., for “In Search of the Country of Art: Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River,” in A Gallery of Southerners (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press), 85–106.
1983 John Hagan, for “Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River: The Quest for Transcendence,” in Thomas Wolfe: A Harvard Perspective (Athens, OH: Croissant & Co.), 3–20.
1984 James Ray Blackwelder, for “Literary Allusions in Look Homeward, Angel: The Narrator’s Perspective,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 8.2, 14–25.
1985 Richard S. Kennedy, for “What the Galley Proofs of Wolfe’s Of Time and the River Tell Us,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 9.2, 1–8.
            Aldo P. Magi, for “Thomas Wolfe: Say It with Music, Part One,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 9.2, 11–26.
1986 James Boyer, for “Thomas Wolfe’s Characters–Another Look,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 10.2, 26–35.
1987 David Herbert Donald, for “Look Homeward: Thomas Wolfe and the South,” in Southern Review 23.2, 241–55.
1988 Carol E. Johnston, for “Thomas Wolfe: Detailing a Literary Career,” in Thomas Wolfe at Eighty-seven (Chapel Hill: North Caroliniana Society Imprints, No. 16), 9–19.
1989 Suzanne Stutman, for “ ‘Esther’ Bernstein and ‘Eugene’ Wolfe: Fact versus Fiction,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 13.1 (Spring), 1–10; and “ ‘The Good Child’s River,’” in Proceedings of the Thomas Wolfe Society, 45–49.
1990 John L. Idol Jr., for “Look Homeward, Angel: An American Masterpiece,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 14.1, 1–7.
1991 Deborah A. Borland, for “Thomas Wolfe’s Great-Uncle Bacchus: Beyond
the Fictional Counterparts,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 15.1, 27–42; and 15.2, 3–21.
1992 Klaus Lanzinger, for “Jason’s Voyage: The International Theme of Thomas Wolfe,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 16.2, 34–43.
1993 Webb Salmon, for “Thomas Wolfe’s Financial Relationship with His Family,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 17.1, 1–13; and 17:2, 1–12.
1994 Joseph Bentz, for “The Influence of Modernist Structure in the Short Fiction of Thomas Wolfe,” in Studies in Short Fiction 31:2, 149–61.
1995 Phillip A. Snyder, for “Look Homeward, Angel as Autobiography and Artist Novel,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 19.1, 44–53.
1996 James W. Clark Jr., for “Getting Dick Prosser Right,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 20.2, 21–33.
1997 David Madden, for “Lost Men: From Gettysburg to Chickamauga,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 21.2, 7–17.
1998 Anne R. Zahlan, for “Thomas Wolfe’s Scheherazade: Narrative Performance in The Good Child’s River,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 22.2, 10–16.
1999 Albrecht B. Strauss, for “Thomas Wolfe and Samuel Johnson: An Unlikely Pair,” in Southern Literary Journal 31.2, 1–11.
2000 John L. Idol Jr., for “Thomas Wolfe Gets Over Himself,” in Appalachian Journal 27.4, 344–53.
2001 Inez Hollander Lake, for “Thomas Wolfe and Marcel Proust: The Importance of Smell in Look Homeward, Angel,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 25.1–2, 23–30.
2002 S. Zebulon Baker, for “Tradition against the Individual Talent: Thomas Wolfe and the Exclusionary Politics of New Critical Canon Building,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 26.1–2, 52–67.
2003 John R. Bittner (posthumous), for “Thomas Wolfe and Jonathan Worth Daniels: The Carolina Roots of a Literary Rivalry,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 27.1–2, 53–69.
2004 Steve Bourdeau, for “Welcome to the Dark Continent of the Self: Thomas Wolfe and Autobiographical Desire,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 28.1–2, 5–13.
2005 Anne R. Zahlan, for “Sitting Where van Gogh Sat: Exile and the Narrative Vocation in Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 29.1–2, 21–36.
2006 Shawn Holliday, for “‘The Story of a Tall Man’: Thomas Wolfe and the Problems of Literary Iconography,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 30.1–2, 5–18.
2007 Lisa Kerr, for “Journey to the Interior: The Influence of Xenophon’s Anabasis on Thomas Wolfe’s O Lost,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 31.1–2, 5–10.
2008 Alice R. Cotten, for “That ‘mother-spoiled glut of oily fat’: John Skally Terry in Thomas Wolfe’s Life and Work,” in Thomas Wolfe Review 32.1–2, 34–53.
2009 Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr., for “You Can’t Go to Germany, Again: Thomas Wolfe,” in The Fourth Ghost: White Southern Writers and European Fascism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press), 146–75.
2010 Paula Gallant Eckard, for “’A Flash of Fire’: Illness and the Body in Look Homeward, Angel,” in Thomas Wolfe Review, 34, 1-2, 6-24.
2011 David Radavich, for “’A Stone, a Leaf, a Door’: The Narrative Poetics of Thomas Wolfe,” in Thomas Wolfe Review, 35, 1-2, 7-21.
2012 Joseph Bentz, for “More than a Means to an End: The Train as the Locus of Human Interaction in the Fiction of Thomas Wolfe,” in Thomas Wolfe Review, 36, 1-2, 7-21.
2013 David Radavich, for “Thomas Wolfe’s Expressionism and The Party at Jack’s,” in Thomas Wolfe Review, 37, 1-2, 7-22.
2014 Amelie Moisy, for “Thomas Wolfe and the Paris House of Illusion Described in The Web and the Rock,” in Thomas Wolfe Review, 38, 1-2, 25-41.
2015 James W. Clark, Jr., for “Thomas Wolfe’s Diagnosis of Leroy Dock,” in Thomas Wolfe Review, 39, 1-2, 31-37.
2016: Joseph Bentz, for “Who Are You Calling a Genius? Reconsidering the Wolfe/Perkins Relationship,” in The Thomas Wolfe Review 39.1–2, 23–40.
2017: Jon Dawson, for “From Life to Literature: The Historical Foundation of The Party at Jack’s,” in The Thomas Wolfe Review 41.1–2, 7–25.
2018: Joseph Bentz, for “Violence as the Undercurrent of Small-Town Life in Thomas Wolfe’s The Web and the Rock,” in The Thomas Wolfe Review 42.1–2, 32–45.
2019: Kensie Poor, for “Lacan’s Cause-Desire Concept and Unsatiated Appetites in Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel,” in The Thomas Wolfe Review 42.1–2, 46–62.