Growing up, T. Coraghessan Boyle did not aspire to be a writer. He attended State University of New York as a music student but ended up as a history and English major. He says, "I went there to be a music major but found I really couldn't hack that at the age of 17 .... I just started to read outside my classes -- literature and history. I wound up being a history and English major; when I wandered into a creative writing class as a junior, I realized that writing was what I could do." After college he started teaching, in part to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War, and generally wandered through the next few years of his life - until he published a story in the North American Review and applied to the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop where he studied with John Irving and John Cheever. Five years later he left with an MFA, a Ph.D in 19th century British literature and a job teaching creative writing at USC two days a week.
In an article in Publishers Weekly (June 19 2006) he said, "Art bailed me out ... It sounds corny but there's a power in it that I would never give up. There's a light that fills you when you're writing; there's a magic. I don't know what it is. It's a miracle and it's a rush and immediately on finishing, you want to do it again. It's so utterly thrilling to me it's all I want to do".
He first published a collection of short stories in 1979 (Descent of Man), followed by his first novel, Water Music in 1982. When asked to describe his philosophy on reading and writing he says, "Good literature is a living, brilliant, great thing that speaks to you on an individual and personal level. You're the reader. I think the essence of it is telling a story. It's entertainment. It's not something to be taught in a classroom, necessarily. To be alive and be good, it has to be a good story that grabs you by the nose and doesn't let you go till The End."
In addition to his books, his work regularly appears in major American magazines, including The New Yorker, GQ, The Paris Review, Playboy, and Esquire.
He's been married since 1974 and has three children.
Water Music (1982)
Budding Prospects (1984)
World's End (1987)
East Is East (1990)
The Road to Wellville (1993)
The Tortilla Curtain (1995)
Riven Rock (1998)
A Friend of the Earth (2000)
Drop City (2003)
The Inner Circle (2004)
Talk Talk (2006)
The Women (2009)
When the Killing's Done (2011)
The Harder They Come (2015)
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)
The Human Fly (2005)
Wild Child and Other Stories (2010)
T.C. Boyle Stories II (2013)
This biography was last updated on 05/30/2016.
A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.
Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions
The Charmers by Elizabeth Adler
"This tale of romantic suspense makes the perfect beach read."
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.