It was 1929. Look Homeward, Angel had just appeared and I was told that Thomas Wolfe was teaching English at NYU in Washington Square. I had some inner reservations about Look Homeward, Angel, but I was thrilled by the oceanic surge that swept through the pages.

And so one day I plucked up my courage and climbed the stairs and walked to his desk and said, ‘Would you like to have lunch with me at Ruby Wang’s, Mr Wolfe?’

Thomas Wolfe raised his damp, bulging face in my direction and said, ‘Sure, Okay, Absolutely, Let’s lunch at Ruby Wang’s.’

The Boat Train