To say Tom Coraghessan Boyle is a literary big shot is an understatement. One of our most prolific and influential fiction writers, Boyle has penned 12 novels and more than 100 short stories since his 1979 debut collection, Descent of Man. He has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has won National Magazine Awards, and has been named as a National Book Award finalist for his novel Drop City. His writing is elegant and visceral, plot-driven yet full of dynamic and real characters. Boyle is a storyteller first. A man who writes to both entertain and teach, he says, believing that literature can be great in all ways, but that it has to capture you first, like exceptional film or rock 'n' roll, before anything else can come out of it--beautiful language, well-wrought characterization, structure.
Boyle, whose unique middle name is self-imposed and whose unique look, even at 61, has been described as something like a "punk Mephistopheles," regularly appears in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, Esquire and McSweeney's. His stories often deal with relevant social issues--the cloning of a cherished pet, teenagers abandoning an unwanted child, creationists looking to censor a biology textbook, a man who suddenly finds himself homeless--and the very real people who live through them. Boyle's latest novel, The Women, is a historically accurate, fictionalized depiction of the often befuddling and tumultuous life of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and was hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "a mesmerizing story" and "Boyle at his best."
Boyle heads to Boise as a part of The Cabin's Readings and Conversations series.[ Video is no longer available. ]