Tom Wolfe says a jarring scene he recently witnessed in Tennessee convinced him that writers who live in New York and on the Left Coast are out of touch with the rest of the country. In the upcoming book, Telling True Stories, the Bonfire of the Vanities novelist says he watched in amazement at a NASCAR race last month as a National Rifle Association honcho got a rousing standing ovation, and was followed by a minister who "asked the Lord to look out for these brave drivers and these loyal fans . . . in the name of Thy Only Son, Christ Jesus."
Writes Wolfe: "Anyone who introduced an event that way in San Francisco or New York would risk arrest for a hate crime. New York writers really must cross the Hudson River, and writers in Los Angeles really must go as far as the San Joaquin Valley. Most of the meaning of America lies in between the coasts, I'm afraid."