This Boy's Life is a memoir by American novelist and short story writer Tobias Wolff that was first published in 1989. It describes the precarious years after Wolff’s parents’ divorce separates him from his father and brother, and his mother’s remarriage to an abusive man puts Wolff in peril. In 1993, This Boy's Life was adapted into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Wolf, Robert De Niro as his stepfather, and Ellen Barkin as his mother.


See a complete list of the characters in This Boy's Life and in-depth analyses of Jack Wolff, Rosemary Wolff, and Dwight.

Literary Devices

Here is where you will find analysis of the key themes, motifs, and symbols in This Boy's Life.


Find the quotes you need to support your essay or refresh your memory of This Boy's Life.

Deeper Study

Go further in your study of This Boy's Life by reading background information about Tobias Wolff and his memoir.