T. Coraghessan Boyle is the author of twenty books of fiction, including, most recently, After the Plague (2001), Drop City (2003), The Inner Circle (2004), Tooth and Claw (2005), The Human Fly (2005), Talk Talk (2006), and The Women (2009). He received a Ph.D. degree in Nineteenth Century British Literature from the University of Iowa in 1977, his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974, and his B.A. in English and History from SUNY Potsdam in 1968. He has been a member of the English Department at the University of Southern California since 1978. His work has been translated into more than two dozen foreign languages, including German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Korean, Japanese, Danish, Swedish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Finnish and Farsi. His stories have appeared in most of the major American magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, The Paris Review, GQ, Antaeus, Granta and McSweeney's, and he has been the recipient of a number of literary awards. He currently lives near Santa Barbara with his wife and three children.
Holy cow! I'm a huge fan of "Greasy Lake" and "Descent of Man" but what changed my life was "East is East." I have lived by the idea stated by one of the characters that one must treat big life decisions as though they were small and treat small things in life as though the were extremely important. I look forward to reading more of your work and wish I could have your autograph.
I have learned not to like the word "quirky" because I mainly used to see it in nicely prepared rejection letters. Later, if a reader turned up who liked "quirky," I sensed a meaning of "cutesie." "Self-referential" and "fragmented" left me the same way. But today I said about your story in Harper's, "high-quirk," meaning art.
Just finished "my pain is . . ." in Harpers -- a wheelchair bound man whose wanderlust for a neighbor lady ruins his marriage (lovely); then, he gets decked by the one armed step-son who happens to be her . . . (chaplin could play him . . . or maybe jim carey); it carefully avoids bathos because that's where he starts - in state of quiet desperation, but the absurdity of (our) his yearnings and their consequences is funny. Side note: watched the Third Man -- Graham Green said it was meant to be comedy of sorts (I had trouble seeing this aspect owing to 1962 vernacular, B&W, etc.) but hearing Greene say it in the commentary unlocked it. "My Pain . . ." is a comedy of sorts too. Thanks for being here & out there.
I'm also a fan of your work, esp enjoyed your book about the Kinsey experiment.
We're honored by your presence and eager to read what you post. Thanks for the art. Your work speaks for itself.
Tom Boyle, we meet again... Iowa, USC, Santa Fe, and now Fictionaut. Good to see you again, literary acquaintance. ;-)
hi t.c.: welcome to f-naut. am a fan of your work and am confident you will find some writers here likewise worthy of your admiration.
T.C., how wonderful to see you here. Welcome to the community.
Thanks for sharing the good and early work. It's a thrill to find you here. Welcome.