Boyle, T. C.

Boyle, T. C. (Thomas John Coraghessan Boyle), 1948–, American writer, b. Peekskill, N.Y., grad. State Univ. of New York (B.A. 1968), Univ. of Iowa (M.F.A. 1974, Ph.D. 1977). He published under the name T. Coraghessan Boyle until the mid-1990s. Influenced by Evelyn Waugh, Gabriel García Márquez, and Flannery O'Connor, he is known for his wildly imaginative, simile-rich, manically jumpy yet highly polished polysyllabic prose and for his satiric bent and hipster-tinged black humor. Boyle's settings range from the historical to the contemporary, his subject matter and characters often edging into the quirky, strange, or bizarre. He first came to critical attention with his short stories in the mid-1970s; they and those that followed have been gathered in The Descent of Man (1979), If the River Was Whiskey (1990), After the Plague (2001), Tooth and Claw (2005), Wild Child (2010), The Relive Box (2017), and other collections. He also is a prolific novelist. His longer fictional works include Water Music (1981), World's End (1987), East Is East (1990), The Road to Wellville (1993; film, 1994), which lampoons the theories of John H. Kellogg, The Tortilla Curtain (1995), Riven Rock (1998), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), The Women (2009), When the Killing's Done (2011), San Miguel (2012), The Harder They Come, a powerful tale of American violence (2015), The Terranauts (2016), and Outside Looking In, on Timothy Leary and his 1960s LSD devotees (2019). Boyle has taught at the Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, since 1978.

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