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 such literary heroes as 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 such collections as The Descent of Man (1979), If the River Was Whiskey (1990), After the Plague (2001), Tooth and Claw (2005), and Wild Child (2010). Boyle's short fiction has also been published in two large volumes of collected stories (1998 and 2013). He also isa 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), and San Miguel (2012). Boyle has taught at the Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, since 1978.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.