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T. C. Boyle (photo: Pablo Campos)T. CORAGHESSAN BOYLE

"America's most imaginative contemporary novelist" Newsweek

NYS Writers Institute, February 28, 2003
4:00 p.m. Reading| Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center


 

 


PROFILE
Drop CityT. C. Boyle's newest novel, Drop City (March 2003), is set in 1970. The novel tells the story of a hippie commune in California whose members decide to relocate to the unforgiving wilds of Alaska. There, they face challenges that severely test their devotion to peace, free love and the simple life. According to the publisher, Drop City is neither a satire nor nostalgic look at the 1960s and its aftermath. It is a "surprising, rich allusive, and non-sentimental look at the ideals of a generation and their impact on today's radically changed world."

"[Boyle is] one of the most inventive and verbally exuberant writers of his generation." - New York Times

Boyle is the author of nine novels and six short story collections, all of them filled with quirky characters, lush descriptions, and cynical humor. The Los Angeles Times Book Review states, "Boyle's prose is a presence, a litany, a symphony of words, a chorale of idioms ancient and modern, a treasury of strange and wonderful place names, a glossary of things, good food and horrendous ills." The Times Literary Supplement describes the author's style as "punctuated with fire-cracker metaphors, a showy extravagance with obscurities of language and an easy mediation between hard fact and invention."

T. C. Boyle, NYS Writers Institute, 2/28/03, (photo credit: Judy Axenson)Boyle's most recent collection is After the Plague: And Other Stories (2001). The collection showcases the signature elements of Boyle's fiction: darkly comic scenarios, pitiful and realistic characters, mundane but serious subjects, and trademark dazzler endings. Many of his stories have been published in The New Yorker, GQ, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, The Paris Review, and other leading magazines.

Boyle's eighth novel A Friend of the Earth (2000), is set in California in 2025 and depicts a world in the advanced stages of environmental collapse. The Booklist reviewer said "Boyle, an ingenious and masterful storyteller, has written an eco-novel [that] no reader will be able to resist."

Boyle is the recipient of numerous literary prizes, including the PEN/Faulkner Award for Worlds End (1987) and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in short fiction in 1999. His 1995 novel, The Tortilla Curtain, received the Prix Medici Etranger for best novel published in France by a foreign writer. Boyle's 1993 novel, The Road to Wellville, was adapted as a movie. Directed by Alan Parker and released by Columbia Pictures in 1994, the film starred Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Broderick, and Bridget Fonda. His books are available in a number of foreign languages, including German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese, Danish and Swedish.

T. C. Boyle grew up in Peekskill, New York. He indicated he was a bright, but disaffected, kid in high school and college. "However, I did have a few great mentors at SUNY Potsdam who encouraged me as a writer," Boyle said in an interview for the Sunday Gazette.


Books by T. C. BOYLE:

Descent of Man. Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1979
Water Music. Boston: Atlantic-Little, Brown, 1982
Budding Prospects. New York: Viking, 1984
Greasy Lake. New York: Viking, 1985
World's End. New York: Viking, 1987
If the River Was Whiskey. New York: Viking, 1989
East Is East. New York: Viking, 1990
The Road to Wellville. New York: Viking, 1993
Without A Hero. New York: Viking, 1994
The Tortilla Curtain. New York: Viking, 1995
Riven Rock. New York: Viking, 1998
T.C. Boyle Stories. New York: Viking, 1998
A Friend of the Earth. New York: Viking, 2000
After the Plague. New York: Viking, 2001
Drop City. New York: Viking, 2003

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Additional Links:
Sunday Gazette Article
Albany Times Union Article
T. C. Boyle Home Page

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.