Presenter of the National Book Awards

The Book That Changed My Life

James Lincoln Collier

James Lincoln Collier was a National Book Award Finalist in 1975 for his Children's Book, My Brother Sam is Dead and again in 1980 for his History book, The Making of Jazz: A Comprehensive History.

I don't know that any book actually changed my life. I come from a family of writers and would probably have gone in that direction anyway. However, in I think the spring of 1944, when I was sixteen or seventeen, I came across that novels of Thomas Wolfe (the real Thomas Wolfe). I gulped them down whole, and there is no doubt that I was struck by the boiling romance of writing that Wolfe spewed through his works. His books certainly had an affect on me; he is, I think, unjustly neglected today.


James Lincoln Collier