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T C Boyle - Author

About the Author

T.C. Boyle is the bestselling author of fourteen books of fiction which have been published to worldwide acclaim in many languages. His novel Drop City, published in paperback by Bloomsbury in March 2004, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. 

He has won numerous awards and honours including the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1988 for World's End. He received a PhD degree in 19th Century British Literature from the University of Iowa in 1977, his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1974, and his BA 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 fiction regularly appears in The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, The Paris Review, GQ, Antaeus and Granta.  T.C. Boyle lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Photograph © Pablo Campos

Featured books by T C Boyle

Other books by T C Boyle

Outside Looking In

Outside Looking In

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2020

One family's adventures in LSD: the brilliantly strange new novel from the mind of 'one of the most inventive, adventurous and accomplished fiction writers in the US today' (Lionel Shriver) Chosen as a Book of the Year 2019 by the Herald It is Harvard in the early 1960s. Just off campus, Dr Timothy Leary plays host for his PhD students, laying on a spread of cocktails, pizza and LSD. Among the guests is Fitzhugh Loney, a psychology student, and his librarian wife Joanie. Married young, and both diligently and unglamorously toiling to support their son, they are not the sort of people one would expect to be seduced by the nascent drug culture. But their nights on LSD prove so extraordinary - so revelatory, so earth-shattering, so downright seductive - that Fitzhugh and Joanie are soon captive to the whims of the charismatic and subversive Dr Tim. Follow Fitzhugh and Joanie on their quest for transcendence, as sultry Mexican nights at Hotel Catalina give way to a ramshackle mansion in upstate New York, where thirty devotees - students, wives and children - play out the final act of a terrible, beautiful experiment. Join us, won't you? It's going to be one hell of a trip.

World's End

World's End

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award; 'not since Thomas Pynchon has any fresh American writer so cunningly lit the fuses of history so that they detonate in time recently past' (The Times) Walter Van Brunt is a dreamer, and a lover of drugs, alcohol and speed. He likes nothing better than to fly along on his motorbike, invincible and immortal. But one day, dodging a mysterious shadow on the road, he crashes into a barrier and loses his right foot. Walter is a descendant of Dutch yeomen and since the day of the accident he has been haunted by their ghosts. When he receives a new plastic foot he is determined to find his father who deserted his family years ago, and to uncover the secrets of his ancestors.

A Friend of the Earth

A Friend of the Earth

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

An ecological black comedy and provocative modern morality tale; 'Boyle's prose is so good and his imagination so fertile that after a while you just sit back and are swept along' (Daily Telegraph) It's 2025, and 75-year-old environmentalist Ty Tierwater is eking out a bleak loving managing a pop star's private zoo. It is the last one in southern California and vital for the cloning of its captive species. Once, Ty was so serious about environmental causes that as an eco-terrorist committed to Earth Forever! he endangered the lives of both his daughter, Sierra, and his wife, Andrea. Now, when he's just trying to survive in a world cursed by storm and drought, Andrea returns to his life. Frightening, funny, surreal and gripping, T.C. Boyle's story is both a modern morality tale, and a provocative vision of the future

Talk Talk

Talk Talk

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2019

There's more than one to way to take a life in this masterful thriller from one of the greatest voices in American contemporary fiction Dana sits in a courtroom with her legs shackled as a long list of charges is read out, many of them dangerous. But the panic that grips her is not because she has been caught. She knows there has been a terrible mistake - she didn't commit any of these crimes. As Dana and her lover Bridger set out to clear her name and find the person who is living a blameless life of criminal excess at her expense, they begin to test the life they have built together to its limits.

Outside Looking In

Outside Looking In

Author: T C Boyle Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/04/2019

One family's adventures in LSD: the brilliantly strange new novel from the mind of 'one of the most inventive, adventurous and accomplished fiction writers in the US today' (Lionel Shriver) Chosen as a Book of the Year 2019 by the Herald It is Harvard in the early 1960s. Just off campus, Dr Timothy Leary plays host for his PhD students, laying on a spread of cocktails, pizza and LSD. Among the guests is Fitzhugh Loney, a psychology student, and his librarian wife Joanie. Married young, and both diligently and unglamorously toiling to support their son, they are not the sort of people one would expect to be seduced by the nascent drug culture. But their nights on LSD prove so extraordinary - so revelatory, so earth-shattering, so downright seductive - that Fitzhugh and Joanie are soon captive to the whims of the charismatic and subversive Dr Tim. Follow Fitzhugh and Joanie on their quest for transcendence, as sultry Mexican nights at Hotel Catalina give way to a ramshackle mansion in upstate New York, where thirty devotees - students, wives and children - play out the final act of a terrible, beautiful experiment. Join us, won't you? It's going to be one hell of a trip.

The Tortilla Curtain

The Tortilla Curtain

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2019

Winner of the Prix Medicis Etranger; 'examines America's guerilla war between the haves and have-notes with a zing unequalled since The Bonfire of the Vanities'(Observer) When Delaney Mossbacher knocks down a Mexican pedestrian, he neither reports the accident nor takes his victim to hospital. Instead the man accepts $20 and limps back to poverty and his pregnant 17-year-old wife, leaving Delaney to return to his privileged life in California. But these two men are fated against each other, as Delaney attempts to clear the land of the illegal immigrants who he thinks are turning his state park into a ghetto, and a boiling pot of racism and prejudice threatens to spill over.

Drop City

Drop City

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2019

'One of the funniest, most subtle novels we've had about the hippy era's slow fade to black ... this may be his most affecting emotionally complex novel' (New York Times Book Review) Star has travelled to Drop City - forty-seven sun-washed acres of commune in California - to be free from her home, from society's constraints, and to feel part of something important. But she starts to suspect that free love was invented by some spotty dude who couldn't get laid any other way, and that chilled out means lazy. And as for peace-living, there seems to be an ugly undercurrent of violence. Then, when rape charges are brought and the police threaten to close down Drop City, the hippies decamp to the wilds of Alaska where they intend to live off the land. But instead the community runs into trouble, unexpected friendships are made and dangerous enemies are born.

The Inner Circle

The Inner Circle

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2019

A dazzlingly written and wickedly sexy read from one of the giants of American contemporary fictions; 'Boyle just gets better and better' (Daily Mail) In 1939, on the campus of Indiana University, a revolution has begun. The stir is caused by Alfred Kinsey, a zoologist who is determined to take sex out of the bedroom. John Milk, a freshman, is enthralled by the professor's daring lectures and over the next two decades becomes Kinsey's right hand man. But Kinsey teaches Milk more than the art of objective enquiry. Behind closed doors, he is a sexual enthusiast of the highest order and as a member of his 'inner circle' of researchers, Milk is called on to participate in experiments that become increasingly uninhibited ...

The Relive Box and Other Stories

The Relive Box and Other Stories

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

BY THE WINNER OF THE JONATHAN SWIFT PRIZE 2017 A dynamic new collection from one of our most original storytellers: satirical, surreal and very much of the moment. In these stories, T. C. Boyle focuses his unerring eye on humanity's relationship with nature, and the unintended consequences of our efforts to control it. The prize-winning 'Are We Not Men?' reflects on the impact of new gene-editing technologies while 'The Relive Box' parodies our obsession with electronic games. In 'She's the Bomb', a young woman waits on her graduation day, heart in mouth, for an explosive event. A burrito-seller has a killer business idea in 'The Five-Pound Burrito', but learns that success comes at a price. An Italian couple moves south for a fresh start in 'The Argentine Ant', but finds that paradise holds a nasty sting. And in the chilling 'The Designee', a lonely widower can't believe his luck when he receives a mysterious letter from England. In electric prose T. C. Boyle explores myriad facets of society: greed and excess, parenthood and responsibility, the digital world and the way we understand our mortality. Roaming unrestrainedly through the present and near future, he inhabits his characters' minds with a ventriloquist's flair, skewering human motivations and revealing us to ourselves with empathy and wry humour.

The Relive Box and Other Stories

The Relive Box and Other Stories

Author: T C Boyle Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/10/2017

BY THE WINNER OF THE JONATHAN SWIFT PRIZE 2017 A dynamic new collection from one of our most original storytellers: satirical, surreal and very much of the moment. In these stories, T. C. Boyle focuses hisunerring eye on humanity's relationship with nature, and the unintended consequences of our efforts to control it. The prize-winning 'Are We Not Men?' reflects on the impact of new gene-editing technologies while 'The Relive Box' parodies our obsession with electronic games. In 'She's the Bomb', a young woman waits on her graduation day, heart in mouth, for an explosive event. A burrito-seller has a killer business idea in 'The Five-Pound Burrito', but learns that success comes at a price. An Italian couple moves south for a fresh start in 'The Argentine Ant', but finds that paradise holds a nasty sting. And in the chilling 'The Designee', a lonely widower can't believe his luck when he receives a mysterious letter from England. In electric prose T. C. Boyle explores myriad facets of society: greed and excess, parenthood and responsibility, the digital world and the way we understand our mortality. Roaming unrestrainedly through the present and near future, he inhabits his characters' minds with a ventriloquist's flair, skewering human motivations and revealing us to ourselves with empathy and wry humour.

The Terranauts

The Terranauts

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/2017

BY THE WINNER OF THE JONATHAN SWIFT PRIZE 2017 LONGLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2018 Eight people take part in an ecological experiment in 1990s Arizona. Inspired by real events, The Terranauts places human behaviour under the microscope to spellbinding effect Linda is desperate to be one of the lucky eight chosen to take part in the world's most ambitious ecological experiment. She knows that she can survive for two years under the glass dome of Ecosphere II, set in the Arizona desert. Competition is fierce between the hopefuls, among them smooth-talking PR man Ramsay, and Dawn, a naive beauty. Inside the humid microcosm, the terranauts' labours over crops and livestock, their battles with creepy crawlies, their hostilities and sexual dalliances are all observed by tourists who come to gawp, Mission Control's cameras and the watchful eye of the media. As they struggle to control nature, and hunger sets in, the snake in this Eden starts to look unmistakably human...

The Terranauts

The Terranauts

Author: T C Boyle Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2016

Linda is desperate to be one of the lucky eight chosen to take part in the world's most ambitious ecological experiment. Gazing longingly at Ecosphere II, which rises like a spaceship from the Arizona desert, Linda knows she can survive under its glass dome. Competition is fierce between the hopefuls, among them smooth-talking PR man Ramsay, and Dawn, a naive beauty. All are certain that they would never, ever, break closure before two years are up - unlike their discredited predecessors. Inside this humid microcosm, the terranauts' labours over crops and livestock, their battles with creepy crawlies, their hostilities and sexual dalliances are all observed by the tourists who come to gawp, Mission Control's cameras and the watchful eye of the media. As the crew struggles to control nature, and hunger sets in, the snake in this Eden starts to look unmistakably human. Inspired by real-life events, The Terranauts is a darkly comic, acutely insightful story of human behaviour, animal instincts, idealism and ambition. Placing utopian visions and individual motives under the microscope, this is T. C. Boyle at his acerbic, pitch-perfect best.

The Harder They Come

The Harder They Come

Author: T C Boyle Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2016

Sten Stenson, Vietnam veteran and retired school principal, and his wife, Carolee, are on a cruise in Costa Rica when their coach excursion is hijacked. Sten's military training overtakes him and within moments one of the attackers lies dead. The rest flee and Sten finds himself hailed a hero by the tour group and everyone back home. Meanwhile, in the redwood forests north of San Francisco, Sara - a farrier who refuses to recognize the authority of the government - is arrested after failing to cooperate with police at a routine stop. A chance meeting with twenty-five-year-old Adam, Sten and Carolee's unstable son, sparks a strange but passionate relationship fuelled by a mutual hatred of the law. Adam, an angry and misunderstood outsider, perennially dressed in camouflage and with his head shaved to the bone, has an unhealthy obsession with nineteenth-century mountain man John Colter. As Adam's views and behaviour become steadily more extreme, he descends into a spiral of fanatical violence that is impossible for his family or Sara to halt. The latest novel by internationally bestselling author T. C. Boyle, The Harder They Come is as timely as it is provocative. A deep and disturbing meditation on the roots of American gun violence, it explores the fine line between heroism and savagery, and just how far a parent can be held accountable for the actions of his child.

Admiral

Admiral

Author: T C Boyle Format: eBook Release Date: 15/11/2013

This short story from the collection Wild Child was originally published in Harper's and selected for The Best American Short Stories, 2008 by Salman Rushdie.In high school Nisha worked as a dog-sitter for the Strikers, eccentric millionaires, taking care of their prized Afghan, Admiral. When she returns after college to tend to her ill mother, the Strikers call on her once again. But this time they want her to take care of Admiral II, the clone of their deceased dog. The original Admiral's experiences must, of course, be replicated as closely as possible.

Ash Monday

Ash Monday

Author: T C Boyle Format: eBook Release Date: 15/11/2013

This short story from the collection Wild Child was originally published in the New Yorker.Thirteen-year-old Dill has a tendency to get in trouble, to act out, and perhaps it is due to his mother's latest boyfriend, Grady, leaving them behind. Meanwhile Sanjuro Ichyguro and his wife have moved from Japan to the United States and are having trouble adjusting. Between the cultural divide, the swelling emotions of their respective losses, and budding pyromania, Dill and Sanjuro are waging a silent war between their neighboring houses.

Thirteen Hundred Rats

Thirteen Hundred Rats

Author: T C Boyle Format: eBook Release Date: 15/11/2013

This short story from the collection Wild Child was originally published in the New Yorker.When Gerald Loomis loses his wife, friends and neighbors try to rally him with food and suggestions for pets to keep him company. But Gerald has already picked a pet, a Burmese Python he's named Siddhartha. During a cold snap, Gerald ventures out to the pet store to pick up a rat to feed Siddhartha but finds he can't follow through with letting the rat die.

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