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Mr. Robbins' wife and mother[edit]

They have the same last name? I'd read his mother's maiden name was Robinson, not D'Avalon. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:15, 4 August 2008 (UTC)[reply]


"...and featured a soundtrack by lesbian singer k.d. lang."
There's no real need for that clarification. I've rewritten it
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:31, 8 December 2004

partial list of works[edit]

if the work attributed to robbins was found to be by someone else, why is it still in the list of works? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I've commented it out (but left it in the code so that it doesnt get re-added). It should probably be placed into a prose section of the article eventually. -Quiddity 16:38, 4 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Removed 'how to write like tom robbins' link.[edit]

I removed the 'how to write like tom robbins' external link because it goes to a generic search page, rather than any thing remotely like what it suggests. If anyone knows the real link, please add it. I'd love to see it! Hegar 13:23, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Not sure what's going on there, the link works fine for me. Maybe a temporary hiccup? I've replaced it for now. --Quiddity 18:02, 2 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Now User:Irishguy has deleted the link as "spam". I've copied the link to the top of this thread, as I don't believe it is spam, but don't have time to read it and utilize it as a cited reference, currently. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:23, 29 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Incomplete Bibliography[edit]

Doing a search for Tom Robbins on Amazon.com they have a listing for a book entitled Guy Anderson by Tom Robbins, a paperback written or published in 1965, about the painter . . . how come this listing is not on the Bibliography? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 29 June 2007‎

Probably because it's obscure. It should definitely be there... why don't you add it?!? MPS 21:14, 29 June 2007 (UTC)[reply]
There's no mention at this fairly extensive bibliography. It might be by another person with the same name? If you can confirm it is by this Tom Robbins, then add it. --Quiddity 22:23, 29 June 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Robbins mentions it in a smithsonian interview... link MPS 22:35, 29 June 2007 (UTC)[reply]
TOM ROBBINS: In Richmond, Virginia, at a school that at that time was known as Richmond Professional Institute of the College of William and Mary. It was a division of William and Mary, but completely separate. It was sixty miles away from the William and Mary campus which was in Williamsburg. It was essentially a professional school of art, drama, and music. And it was very exciting; it was so different from Washington and Lee [Robbins's first college--Ed.], with all the fraternities and the Joe College atmosphere.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by MPS (talkcontribs) 22:37, 29 June 2007‎
MARTHA KINGSBURY: You wrote some other kinds of things, like the piece on Guy Anderson. As we were saying earlier off the tape, you could have been an art historian in a sense also.
TOM ROBBINS: Yeah. I like to think of myself as a fiction writer who liked art enough to write about it for a while, and then went on to his fiction. I think there are others, people like Donal Barthelme, Robert Coover, and John Ashbery, other novelists and short story writers and poets who also happen to like art a lot and write about it from time to time. And I'd rather be identified with that group than with a group of real critics, like Rosenberg and Fried and...
— Preceding unsigned comment added by MPS (talkcontribs) 22:35, 29 June 2007‎
I added the Guy Anderson biography back to the list. I found it listed in the bibliography of Tom Robbins by Mark Siegel. Jaldous1 (talk) 00:48, 25 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

External links[edit]

It is customary to encourage the growth of articles in various ways, such as, not tagging every single unreferenced statement with a {{fact}} template, or, allowing external links that aren't optimal to remain - in the hopes that some editor will take the hint and incorporate them as references - but until that time, the non-editing-reader can still benefit from their existence (because we have confirmed them as relevant/interesting links). – Wikipedia was started by m:Eventualists, and is a success because of that philosophy. – To that end, I'll replace the various external links in the article. (In the future – it is courteous to copy any deleted but potentially-useful information, to the talkpage, for discussion or later use.)

See also, David Foster Wallace#External links for a small article that is in a fairly good state overall, or even Charles Dickens#External links for a section that is starting to need a bit of a rethink. See also, the trivia sections guideline, that endorses retaining them for information, but discouraging them with a cleanup-template-tag.

The fansite in particular, is the 2nd google hit, and has been at or near the top of web-searches for Tom Robbins, since 1999 (wayback archive).

As regarding the article "How to write like Tom Robbins", I'll address that in detail at User talk:Noahveil later. But simply put: it is purely a COI case, not spam in the irrelevant/commercial site sense. With that in context, this needs to be addressed with good faith and assistance, not terse warnings and accusations. Welcome and assist the newcomers if you can, and especially try not to bite those that are unfamiliar with our ways and are acting in good faith. As I have since re-added the link, the COI issue is effectively nullified anyway.

Hopefully that addresses all the issues. Please reply here if there are still concerns. Thanks :) -- Quiddity (talk) 23:34, 13 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


The "Background" section of the article currently reads:

"In 1969, Robbins moved to La Conner, where he married for the third time, to Terri."

This seems awkward to me.

  • "Third time", without reference to previous marriages.
  • "Terri", without last name or other reference to her as a person.
  • Doesn't this belong in "Personal life" section, rather than "Background" ...?

Karl gregory jones (talk) 18:41, 14 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


An American Road Story: this film inspired many that I know of to delve into serious matters in education and other conquests of human nature and enviornmental issues also; have supported and intervened in all walks of life. Truly apreciatiate sincerely the efforts and examples I have learned from applying myself with certain instruction taught in the film. Have a Safe Day. Greendale. Hawkmoth <|> (talk) 21:16, 22 November 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Date of birth[edit]

Robbins stated his age as 77 on the June 5, 2010 edition of "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" and specifically contradicted his Wikipedia article. I don't know what the protocol is for listing ages when birthdates are unknown. (talk) 07:43, 5 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

He may have been making this up as a joke, though. His MySpace page lists him as 73, the age Wikipedia had him as.[1] (talk) 08:01, 5 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Unless we can find a better source than this, we are better off not giving a date. Kingdon (talk) 15:33, 5 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Actually we're better off keeping the date we had with a "citation needed" tag, while the matter is looked into. Deleteing information is not the best way to correct it.
With respect to those citations, a Google search for "Tom Robbins" "1936" or "July 22, 1936" gives over 15,000 possibilities:
  • The The Oxford Companion to American Literature article "Robbins, Tom" gives his birth year as 1936.
  • A Seattle Post-Intelligencer article from May 2, 2000 give his age as 63, which agrees with the 1936 date.
  • The Encyclopedia Britannica article "Thomas Eugene Robbins" states "born July 22, 1936, Blowing Rock, N.C., U.S."
  • The Smithsonian Institution also gives July 22, 1936 as Robbins' birthday.
  • Both Tom Robbins MySpace and Facebook pages give July 22, 1936 as his birthday.
  • The "Meet the Writer" tab on any Barns and Noble page for a Tom Robbins book gives his birthday as July 22, 1936.
  • and so on.
A comment/joke on a radio comedy show, might be worth adding a footnote, but it should not lead to deletionism. —MJBurrage(TC) 17:26, 5 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the sources. That settles the matter. Kingdon (talk) 01:58, 6 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
    That settles nothing. For instance, i've noticed that FB celebrity pages look a lot like FB personal pages, but are not. They seem to be created by FB so that the fans can "like" the page, and consider friending other fans -- a case of the many kinds of similar-interest links that FB is built on. But don't just look at the DoB, look at the text of "his" FB page (which BTW shows no friends). I happen to have left a browser pane open on the diffs for one TR edit, and i can see at a glance that it has WP copy that we modified as to the 1st 'graph 11 months ago; you can probably use "WikiBlame" to zero right in on the exact revision that FB staff copied blindly from.
More to the point than refuting your most easily spotted non-evidence, quantity is not quality (and quality starts with not swallowing our own vomit, as w/ FB). Who exactly do you hypothesize went and found a copy of his birth certificate, and which of those "sources" found it worth the effort to locate such an informant?? Do they say that they did so, as [[WP:RS|]s do?
Near the end of a mass of detail at #(Date of birth redux) (a subsection of this section), i give a scenario for how essentially all practical sources can easily be wrong about his DoB.
--Jerzyt 14:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I heard it too, and while it didn't sound like he was making a joke at the time, his humor is definitely deadpan. Upon seeing all these sources, I'd agree it was probably a joke. (talk) 18:55, 5 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Here's another source, if anyone wants to add it: [2] It's a Google Books image of p. 3 in the book Tom Robbins: A Critical Companion (cited in this article's bibliography), also giving his birthdate as July 22, 1936. If his birthdate isn't really in 1936, he's done a great job of making people think it is 1936 all these years-- a subterfuge I doubt he'd willingly throw away on a radio show. In other words, yes, it looks abundantly clear he was joking on WWDTM. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 5 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I agree. You cannot take seriously a dialogue where he said that he was working on a reality show where he would feed middle-aged suburban males "magic mushrooms" and follow them around for six hours to see what happens.--Jorfer (talk) 01:55, 6 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

But I'm looking forward to seeing that program! Gorillatheape (talk) 00:58, 7 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]

He is obviously not 74. Obviously wrong information is not better than no information. This is an encyclopedia. CGameProgrammer (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:47, 13 January 2011 (UTC).[reply]

   CGP is right, except that "obviously" is an evasion of responsibility. CGP presumably didn't want to bother stating the kind of analysis that 81. and i make explicit in the following subsection.
--Jerzyt 14:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

(Date of birth redux)[edit]

Per instructions directly from Tom, I have updated and corrected the entire Tom Robbins Wikipedia entry. I have the great good fortune to be Tom's personal assistant. Many thanks (talk) 19:17, 7 February 2011 (UTC) Julie 02/07/2011.[reply]

    The diffs for the edit by the IP-editor (who goes by "Julie" & purports to be the subject's asst, editing on his behalf) are displayed as a diff-output. (The inline diffs seem more helpful than the parallel ones.) Many of the changes are factual, and should be left in place (even while we seek reliable sources verifying them). Many others involve nuance, and caution against COI should make us examine them critically for PoV including SYNTH.
--Jerzyt 14:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

If he was indeed born in 1936 then it seems strange that he gradiated in 1950 and went to university at age 14. If that is however correct some annotation by way of explanation might be useful.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 7 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]

   It is not clear whether or not the above IP colleague noted (after the article having given 1936 as YoB) that the year was
removed (00:49, 13 January 2011)
replaced with 1933 (03:01, 25 January 2011)
replaced with 1932 (19:06, 7 February 2011 by IP "Julie"), and
replaced with 1936 (16:37, 16 March 2011)
but presumably they at least were aware it was
shown as 1936 at 15:40, 7 May 2011 (the time of their own comment),
and they may have eventually had their concern answered when it was (again)
replaced with 1932 (00:51, 15 July 2011).
   In any case, birth in summer of 1932 makes it ordinary, in 1950, to complete secondary education in US (17 y.o., nearly 18 in June) and to start higher education (18 y.o., in Sept.). As to the radio show, June 2010 would make him a few weeks short of his 78th birthday, assuming the broadcast was live. (Otherwise, he might have been reflecting either the date his part was recorded or the date he anticipated it being broadcast, so without confidence that his portion was broadcast live, even being sure he was not joking or confused would leave the evidence less than definitive. )
   In fact, we have one strong indication that TR was not broadcast in real time. At 07:40, 5 June 2010 (UTC) (talk · contribs · WHOIS) edited Tom Robbins and made the edit summary
Robbins stated his age as 77 on the June 5, 2010 edition of 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!'.
That was 3:40 AM (EDT), and 12:40 AM (PDT) in Seattle where that IP address is based. The June 5 edition is almost certain to be first broadcast on the official day, somewhere in North America where it's after about 10 AM. The edit corresponded to 5:10 (Newfoundland Daylight Time) (if that is used), and still earlier in the rest of NA. It was probably executed by a staff member of an NPR station in Seattle, having previewed the pre-recorded show and noted that an at least implicit embargo had expired at midnite local time.
   Finally, "74"? We had had the template name & parameters "Birth date and age|1936|7|22|df=yes" in the article for 11½ months, presumably delivering "72" until mid-July of '09, "73" until the time of the edit, and not due to say "74" until some weeks after the June 5 '10 show. (I'm now taking my turn to speculate about something i'm no authority on: prodigies, rock stars, and literary infantes terribles generally look more exciting the younger they are perceived to be: "imagine what she'll have grown into by the time she's 35 [or whatever you consider the age at which the field's stars are likely to 'peak']" makes that future more exciting to imagine, and the star more exciting to "follow", if you take the current age to be younger. Giving the wrong impression of your age, or getting others to do so, or not bothering to correct anyone who errs in the favorable direction, can increase your opportunities. Then at some point you'd like credit for still going strong at your real age, or you just feel like getting your legacy in order while you're still around to affect the process, and it becomes worthwhile to correct the record.) Once others have spread around a false age for you, you don't have to do anything for it to be self-sustaining, and you may not have it on the tip of your tongue how much its off by, especially given the tendency of people to be a year off by imagining that a person's age is the current year minus their year of birth (when actually it's a year less than that, until the birthday passes). You're much more likely to be confused about what age you're pretending to be than your real age, and the otherwise unexplainably premature "they say i'm 74" is an easy mistake if you are neither 73 nor 74. All that being said, not every confirmed (let alone self-described) assistant is a reliable source about age, no matter how much more plausible their account makes our article, and a fact tag seems in order.
--Jerzyt 14:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Confusion w/ journalist[edit]

   A colleague added a {{Distinguish}} tag creating a lk to

Tom Robbins, New York City journalist, active since the late 1960s

and summarized

Add Distinguish tag for another Tom Robbins who is an American noted for being a professional writer, more precisely a journalist.

but the documentation on that tag declares it is to be used at

Top of articles with only one alternative meaning and no disambiguation page.

That means it is clearly limited to the WP:Dab function, and may be applied only to provide a link to a WP article that has info about the "other" TR. Thus i

  1. have removed the markup to this talk page,
  2. note that if reliable sources have deemed it necessary, in their own discussions of the author, to make distinctions that they are not talking about the journalist, that will provide a basis for discussing on this page whether the confusion is a notable fact about the author that should be included in the prose of the accompanying article on the author (Note that if that is the most notable thing about the journalist, it is merely evidence that the journalist should not have an article on WP.), and
  3. suggest that those interested in the journalist consider working on a bio article, with reliable sources, at Tom Robbins (journalist), which will provide a basis for considering the journalist's possible notability.

Such an article would still not be pointed to by a Disting tag, but would, if retained, need an entry on some appropriate Dab -- which would be Thomas Robbins (disambiguation), unless its scope has changed by then.
--Jerzyt 00:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Tom Robbins Virginia childhood home[edit]

Tom Robbins grew up in Warsaw, Virginia- not Richmond. Warsaw is in Virginia's Northern Neck region about 65 miles northeast of Richmond city. Robbins devotes several chapters of his memoir "Tibetan Peach Pie" to growing up in Warsaw and he is seen throughout the Warsaw High School yearbook for the class of 1949. That's online at https://archive.org/details/ambassadorthe1949wars Robbins visited Warsaw in October, 2015 and met with former classmates and neighbors and did a public reading from "Tibetan Peach Pie". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:4040:1280:D700:C991:2F40:B255:CDE7 (talk) 18:25, 17 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]

What About :Tibetan Peach Pie"? as the latest book [published in 2014][edit]

as above, I respectfully submit this tidbit

john claude krusz, phd, md dallas, tx

Plural pronouns[edit]

Is there a reason that Robbin's works are referred to as 'their' works instead of 'his' works? I saw nothing to indicate his preference for plural pronouns and he is referred to as 'he' in later sections. Is this a convention for talking about authors' works that I'm unaware of?

Shmuelic (talk) 23:24, 7 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]