The Sisterly Advice: Behind the Scenes of Tom Wolfe: Blood Lines
My older sister, Alicia, has always loved to read. She’s the kind of person that as a kid would tackle a 300 page book on a rainy day. A compulsive reader, she’ll peruse a shampoo bottle label if there’s nothing else around.
It was the first week of 2008, and Andres Viglucci’s story had been published a couple of months earlier. I was on the phone with my sister.
“Did you read about Tom Wolfe working on a novel set in Miami?”
Jan. 2 2008 (less than 3 months after Viglucci’s article), PR Newswire runs a press release from Little, Brown, Tom’s new publisher, announcing that Tom has agreed to sell them the rights to his new novel. The release reads:
“Titled Back to Blood, the novel will consider class, family, wealth, race, crime, sex, corruption, and ambition in Miami, the city where America’s future has arrived first. Characters include a young nurse of Cuban ancestry married to a famous French-emigre sex doctor, a freshman journalist on the trail of a Russian-mob-comes-to-Miami story, his wary editor, a second-generation Cuban police officer, a woman of Haitian background who passes for Anglo, and dozens more.”
My sister seized on the mention of a journalist character.
“You should write a letter to Tom Wolfe telling him what it’s really like to be a journalist in Miami,” she said. “You’re story is pretty unique.”
The next day, I looked for Tom’s home address in my records, and sure enough, it was still there.
- Oscar Corral, Director and Producer
My sister, Alicia Corral Chang, with Tom Wolfe during one of Tom’s visits to Miami at the University of Miami Starbucks: