Thomas John Boyle
'My apprenticeship was spent in dark bars till late at night -- and in New York they stay open till four -- with a bunch of other Deadheads, telling them how I was going to write and arguing various points of aesthetics. After a couple of years of that, I thought, well gee, maybe I actually might want to try to write something.' TC Boyle
Thomas John Boyle (December 2, 1948) is the son of a janitor/ school bus driver. Both of his parents were alcoholics, and both died from alcohol-related illnesses in their 50s. Born in Peekskill, New York, Boyle earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974 and his Ph.D. degree in 19th century British literature in 1977.
Many of Boyle's novels and short stories explore the Baby boom generation, its appetites, joys, and addictions. His themes, such as the often-misguided efforts of the male hero and the slick appeal of the anti-hero, appear alongside brutal satire, humor, and magic realism. His fiction also explores the ruthlessness and the unpredictability of nature and the toll human society unwittingly takes on the environment. His work has been compared to Mark Twain's for its mixture of humor and social exploration.
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 has published eight collections of short stories, including Descent of Man (1979), Greasy Lake (1985), If the River was Whiskey (1989), and Without a Hero (1994). After the Plague (2001), Drop City (2003), and most recently, The Women (2009), a novel based on the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, which T.C. Boyle was inspired to write because he lives in a house in California designed by the architect.
His short stories regularly appear in the major American magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire magazine, The Atlantic Monthly and Playboy, as well as on Selected Shorts, a radio show recorded live at New York’s Symphony Space and broadcast on NPR