T. Coraghessan Boyle

From Academic Kids

T. Coraghessan Boyle (T.C. Boyle, born Thomas John Boyle on December 2, 1948) is a U.S. novelist and short story writer. Since the late '70s, he's published nine novels and more than 60 short stories. He won the Pen/Faulkner award in 1988 for his third novel, World's End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York. He is married with three children. Since 1986, Boyle has been Professor of English at the University of Southern California.


Boyle's Life

T. Coraghessan Boyle was born December 2, 1948 as Thomas John Boyle, in Peekskill, New York. He grew up in suburban tract housing and changed his middle name to Coraghessan when he was 17.

He received a B.A. in English and history from SUNY Potsdam in 1968, after which he taught for four years at the high school in his home town. After being accepted the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1972, he served as fiction editor for the Iowa Review and in 1977 received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

He received his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974 and his Ph.D. degree in 19th-century British literature in 1977. He has been a member of the English Department at the University of Southern California since 1978.

Boyle's Writings

Many of Boyle's novels and short stories explore his obsession with the Baby Boom generation, specifically with the generation's appetite, joys, and addictions. His novels include World's End (1987, winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction); The Road to Wellville (1993); and The Tortilla Curtain (1995, winner of France's Prix Medicis Etranger). Boyle is also one of America's most accomplished short story writers and has published several collections including Descent of Man (1979), Greasy Lake (1985), If the River was Whiskey (1989), and Without a Hero (1994). His short stories have appeared in most of the major American magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, and many other places.

Renowned for the thorough research he carries out before actually starting to write a new book, some critics have said that Boyle has given new impetus to the historical novel by spinning bizarre and funny yarns round historical events. For example, Riven Rock, set in 1920s America, is about contemporary treatment for insanity as well as the emerging feminist movement, whereas a later novel, Drop City, is set in 1970 and deals with the hippie movement.

Short story collections

  • Descent of Man (1979)
  • Greasy Lake (1985)
  • If the River Was Whiskey (1989)
  • Without a Hero (1994)
  • T.C. Boyle Stories (1998)
  • After the Plague (2001)
  • Tooth and Claw (2005)


  time setting historical personage in the novel
World's End (1987) late 17th century, 1949 and 1968 Northern Westchester County near Peekskill, New York
Water Music (1982) 1795 London, Scotland, and Africa (source of the Niger) Mungo Park
The Road to Wellville (1993) 1907 Battle Creek, Michigan John Harvey Kellogg
Riven Rock (1998) 1905-1925 Montecito, Santa Barbara County, California Stanley McCormick, Katharine McCormick
The Inner Circle (2004) 1940s-50s Bloomington, Indiana Alfred Kinsey
Drop City (2003) 1970 California, Alaska
Budding Prospects (1984) 1980s California
East Is East (1990) 1980s Georgia (American South)
The Tortilla Curtain (1995) 1990s Southern California
A Friend of the Earth (2000) 2025 United States of America

Each of the 16 books is introduced by the author himself at http://www.tcboyle.com/public_htm/books.html.

External links


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