California is home to a population of A-list authors, some of whom have taught their craft as well as continued to practice it.
T. Coraghessan “T.C.” Boyle is “president” of that elite club, the acknowledged master of the novel and short story, founder of the creative writing program at the University of Southern California, and its just-retired writer-in-residence and “distinguished professor of English.”
Through 16 novels and 11 collections of short stories, he proves why the Washington Post calls him “one of the most exciting and intelligent storytellers in the United States.”
Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic, called Boyle’s 2015 best-selling novel “The Harder They Come” “stunning, gripping, funny and melancholy. (It’s) a masterly and arresting piece of storytelling,”
There’s no reason to think Boyle’s new book, “The Terranauts,” won’t win similar praise from the diligent watchers of the literary world (Ecco, $27, 528 pages; on sale Oct. 25).
The novel follows the “interconnected lives” of four men and four women, volunteers who have been chosen to live inside a three-acre biosphere in the Arizona desert. Partly based on Biosphere 2, the controversial “closed system experiment” in the early 1990s, the book is being called “a hilarious and incisive deep-dive into human behavior in an epic story of science, society, sex and survival, from one of the greatest American novelists today.”
“What the ecospherians did in the real-life historical experiment – 1991 through the first few months of 1994 – took quite a lot of chutzpah,” Boyle said on the phone the other day. “But it didn’t work out (partly because) the billionaire who funded it and the genius who created it had a big falling out. So I took the real material and projected it into a fictional world.”
Boyle holds many literary honors, including a PEN/Faulkner Award, a PEN/Malamud Prize and France’s Prix Médicis Étranger. His work has been translated into 25 languages. He is a regular contributor to mainstream and literary magazines, among them The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, GQ, Antaeus, Granta and McSweeney’s.
Boyle and his wife live near Santa Barbara. Visit him at www.tcboyle.com.
Online readings by magazine writers
Sacramento’s independent nonfiction literary magazine Under the Gum Tree is celebrating its fifth anniversary in an imaginative way.
Editor-publisher Janna Marlies Maron has arranged for a collaborative online simulcast reading of essays published in Gum Tree, and readings of stories published in three other literary magazines, via YouTube Live. They’re Hippocampus in Lancaster, Pa.; Creative Nonfiction in Pittsburgh, Pa.; and River Teeth in Ashland, Ohio. Catch it at 5 p.m. Oct. 29 at Shine coffeehouse-performance center, 1400 E St., Sacramento, 916-551-1400.
“When someone shares a true story, readers and listeners connect with each other and with the person sharing through these ‘me too’ moments,” Maron said. To subscribe to the digital or print magazine, visit www.underthegumtree.com. The streaming video of the reading will be there, as well.
Bee Book Club
T.C. Boyle will appear for the Bee Book Club at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, in The Hive at The Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St., Sacramento.
Tickets to the event are $20 for seven-day-a-week subscribers, $30 for general admission. Buy tickets online at www.beebookclubboyle.eventbrite.com. Please bring your tickets to the event for entrance. Doors open at 4:15 p.m. Parking is free.
All proceeds benefit The Bee’s News In Education (NIE) program, bringing news and information to more than 20,000 students in the region.
T.C. Boyle will give a presentation followed by a question-answer session and book-signing. Barnes & Noble will be on site, selling “The Terranauts” for 30 percent off the list price (Ecco, $27, 528 pages; on sale Oct. 25).
“The Terranauts” also will be offered for a 30 percent discount through Oct. 29 at these bookstores: in the Sacramento area at the four Barnes & Nobles, Avid Reader at the Tower, Underground Books, Time Tested Books and Sac State’s Hornet Bookstore; in Davis at Avid Reader and UC Davis Bookstore; in El Dorado Hills at Face in a Book; and in Grass Valley at The Bookseller.