Vol. 42 No. 1 (1994)
Research Article

Designer Selves in Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities and Danielle Steel's Crossings

Published 1994-03-01



Both Tom Wolfe in his realist novel The Bonfire of the Vanities and Danielle Steel in her sentimental novel Crossings use designer and brand names as narrative tools. While such a use of designer names enhances the verisimilitude of the novels, it also involves both authors in complex, post-modern revisions of the nineteenth century literary traditions - realism and sentimental fiction - they place themselves in.


  1. Angelo, Bonnie. “Master of His Universe, “ in Scura, Dorothy, ed. Conversations with Tom Wolfe: 283–289.
  2. Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corporation and Penguin Books, 1972.
  3. Everett, Patty. “Fanwood Researcher Enjoys ‘Blanking’ In.” The Star Ledger Thursday, March 19, 1992: SW 1, 6.
  4. Foley, Douglas. Learning Capitalist Culture. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P,1990.
  5. Godden, Richard. Fictions of Capital. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1990.
  6. Kaplan, E. Ann. Rocking Around the Clock. New York: Methuen, 1987.
  7. Scura, Dorothy M. editor. Conversations with Tom Wolfe. Jackson: UP of Mississippi,1990.
  8. Steel, Danielle. Crossings. New York: Dell, 1982.
  9. Vidal, Gore. Screening History. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1992.
  10. Wolfe, Thomas. Bonfire of the Vanities. New York: Bantam, 1987.
  11. Wolfe, Thomas. “Stalking the Billion-Footed Beast.” Harper’s Magazine November 1989: 45–56.