Newhouse, Thomas 1950–

views updated

Newhouse, Thomas 1950–


Born January 17, 1950, in Buffalo, NY; son of Jacob (an auto mechanic) and Marguerite (a hairdresser) Newhouse; married Sheila Burnett, October 12, 1979; children: Amanda Lee. Ethnicity: "White." Education: State University of New York at Buffalo, M.A., 1984, Ph.D., 1993. Hobbies and other interests: Music.


Home—Cheektowaga, NY. Office—Department of English, State University of New York College at Buffalo, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222.


State University of New York College at Buffalo, Buffalo, lecturer in English, 1984—.


The Beat Generation and the Popular Novel in the United States, 1945-1970, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2000.

Contributor to books, including The Gothic World of Stephen King, Bowling Green State University Press (Bowling Green, OH), 1987. Contributor to periodicals, including Kerouac Connection and Clues: Journal of Detection.


Thomas Newhouse once told CA: "As a young man, I wanted to write poetry and fiction in the spirit of my favorite authors—Dostoyevsky, Whitman, Lawrence, Thomas Wolfe, and Kerouac—visionaries whose work spoke to me with immense authority. Over the years, as I settled into formal disciplines provided by academic training, my urge to explore personal and cosmic mysteries yielded to more modest ambitions.

"I found my voice as a cultural critic interested primarily in the intellectual, artistic, and political developments of the twentieth century. I want my writ- ings to provide fresh and solid critical insight and to contribute to an understanding of the times that gave rise to the works I explore. But I have consciously resisted addressing a specialized academic audience, attempting instead to reach the intelligent general reader. My most recent publication is a book, The Beat Generation and the Popular Novel in the United States, 1945-1970. The Beats' wonderful and well-timed rebellion of manners and morals can probably best be found in the stuff of their lives—as evidenced by the cult of personality that has been the stock in trade of the many writers who have written books about them. Yet, as Tom Wolfe is fond of reminding us, shifting lifestyles and new attitudes about the world have traditionally been recorded in the novel. So, why was there no critical study of the substantial body of popular alternative ‘underground’ fiction that took up the same subject matters and themes found in the work of the Beats and was therefore also relevant to counter-cultural protest of the Fifties and Sixties?

"I am pleased with the results. The book says what I wanted it to say. Also, my impulse to write it was consistent with what had originally compelled me to write—a desire to express a private consciousness I would have no other way of coming to grips with unless I described it in words. My advice to aspiring writers is to be yourself, let your instincts tell you what to write about, and never let theories, systems, trends, or the ‘wisdom’ of others interfere with freedom of thought and the sense of discovery that are central to all writing. Say what you think needs to be said."



Choice, September, 2000, W. Britton, review of The Beat Generation and the Popular Novel in the United States, 1945-1970.

Library Journal, September 15, 2000, William Gargan, review of The Beat Generation and the Popular Novel in the United States, 1945-1970.