What Is Thomas Wolfe's "The Child by Tiger"?

Thomas Wolfe's "The Child by Tiger" is a short story based on a 1906 event in Asheville, N.C. An unknown African-American killed five people in the town center, both black and white, leading to members of both races mounting a collaborative manhunt, according to the North Carolina Humanities Council.

While this event is not prominent in accounts of North Carolina history, Wolfe made exclusive references to it in his personal notebooks for more than three decades. The mass murderer in Wolfe's story appears both engaging and sympathetic, leading many to list this story as Wolfe's finest and most insightful work.