instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads


THOMAS WOLF is the winner of the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize for his short story "Boundaries." The story will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review's 2012 issue. In selecting "Boundaries," NCLR Fiction Editor Liza Wieland commented that the story "shows us quite brilliantly the truth of Faulkner's notion of the past--that it is never dead, and not even in the past."

Wolf and his wife, Patricia Bryan, are the co-authors of MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN: A MURDER IN AMERICA’S HEARTLAND (New York: Algonquin Books, 2005; Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press 2007), a nonfiction book about a century-old murder case. The book was widely reviewed and praised for its thorough research and engaging story. MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which described it as “a tale that reads like a good novel.” USA Today called the book “meticulously researched and written.” MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN was a finalist for the 2006 Benjamin Shambaugh Award, which is presented annually by the State Historical Society of Iowa to a book that makes a “significant contribution to Iowa history.”

Wolf's next book, THE PLEA, also co-authored with Patricia Bryan, will be published by the University of Iowa Press in 2013. THE PLEA is the nonfiction account of John Wesley Elkins, a 12 year-old Iowa boy who received a life sentence in 1889 for the murder of his father and stepmother. Elkins' long struggle for parole was supported by numerous politicians, educators, and social reformers, including the prison wardens who supervised his incarceration at the Anamosa Men's Reformatory.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Wolf graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, in 1969. He served two years as a VISTA volunteer on Long Island and earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1975. From 1976-1985, he taught writing and literature courses at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois. For more than a dozen years, he worked at Measurement, Inc. in Durham, North Carolina, as a testing specialist. He has been a writing consultant for both the GMAT writing test and the MCAT writing sample.

He is a frequent participant at the annual Symposium on Baseball and American Culture that is held at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York and has published several essays on the history of baseball. One of these essays is "The Warden Takes a Murderer to the World Series: A Tale of Depression-era Compassion," appeared in The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2005-2006. The article is based on research for a nonfiction book he is writing about Babe Ruth’s “Called Shot” and the 1932 baseball season.

Thomas Wolf and Patricia Bryan live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with their three sons.