Accent on Books -- and indeed the entire Asheville literary community -- lost a beloved friend last week with the passing of Tom Woof. An impressive Shiba Inu, Tom was the devoted canine companion of Joanne Mauldin who, among other things, is a highly regarded expert on Tom's near namesake, Asheville's most famous literary son. (Joanne's most recent work is Thomas Wolfe: When Do the Atrocities Begin, published in 2007 by the University of Tennessee Press.) Joanne and Tom's visits to the store were always a delight, whether Joanne had a particular purchase in mind or was just coming by to share the latest gossip. In either case, Tom would always greet our other customers with dignified friendliness, and they, in turn, would be suitably and understandably impressed. And you knew it was An Important Literary Event in this town if Tom Woof showed up attired in his dapper red bow tie.
We extend our condolences to Joanne and to all of Tom Woof's many other friends and fans. I know that I personally will deeply miss his bright, friendly countenance. Perhaps he can now meet his famous namesake, and they can compare notes on the inimitable mountain community they both called home.