Tom Wolfe's "Back to Blood" takes on world of Miami

(CBS News) Tom Wolfe is one of the world's most recognizable authors. He's written more than a dozen books, including "The Right Stuff" and "The Bonfire of the Vanities."

His latest novel, "Back to Blood," is his first in eight years. "Back to Blood" tells the story of Miami through a tableau of characters, from a "billionaire porn addict" to a "wanna-go-muckraking young journalist," according to the publisher's book description.

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Wolfe has made cities famous with his writing, drawing on the real-life experiences of residents. It was no different for his research for "Back to Blood." He visited Miami and met with people there, looking for the essence of the place.

"I find people will be on guard for the first 30 minutes to an hour because here's somebody asking them questions," he said on "CBS This Morning." "But if you get through an hour, or an hour-and-a-half with somebody ... they'll drop their guard. They're tired of keeping up the guard. It's hard to be always careful of what you're saying."

Asked what he was looking for, Wolfe said, "In this case, I really did want to see what the -- how these different races and cultures and nationalities blended together. I found that they don't blend. The melting pot there is full of pieces of steel that never melted."

For more with Wolfe, including discussion about his signature white suit look and his view of modern journalism, watch the video in the player above.

Some of the images featured in the "CTM" broadcast are featured in the new documentary about Wolfe called "Tom Wolfe Gets Back to Blood."

  • Amanda Cochran

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