Thomas Coraghessan Boyle, also known as T. C. Boyle and T. Coraghessan Boyle (born December 2, 1948), is an American novelist and short story writer. Since the mid-1970s, he has published fourteen novels and more than 100 short stories. He won the PEN/Faulkner award in 1988, for his third novel, World's End, which recounts 300 years in upstate New York.
He is a Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.
Boyle grew up in Peekskill, New York. His name was originally Thomas John Boyle; he changed his middle name to Coraghessan when he was 17. He received a B.A. in English and History from the State University of New York at Potsdam (1968), an M.F.A. (1974) from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and a Ph.D. (1977) from the University of Iowa.
In Understanding T. C. Boyle, Paul William Gleason writes, “Boyle's stories and novels take the best elements of Carver's minimalism, Barth's postmodern extravaganzas, Garcia Marquez's magical realism, O'Connor's dark comedy and moral seriousness, and Dicken's entertaining and strange plots and brings them to bear on American life in an accessible, subversive, and inventive way”.
Many of Boyle's novels and short stories explore the baby boom generation, its appetites, joys, and addictions. His themes, such as the often-misguided efforts of the male hero and the slick appeal of the anti-hero, appear alongside brutal satire, humor, and magical realism. His fiction also explores the ruthlessness and the unpredictability of nature and the toll human society unwittingly takes on the environment. His novels include World's End (1987, winner of the Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction); The Road to Wellville (1993); and The Tortilla Curtain (1995, winner of France's Prix Médicis étranger).
Boyle has published eight collections of short stories, including Descent of Man (1979), Greasy Lake (1985), If the River was Whiskey (1989), and Without a Hero (1994). His short stories regularly appear in the major American magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly and Playboy, as well as on the radio show, Selected Shorts.
T.C. Boyle is married to Karen Kvashay, they have three children and live near Santa Barbara, California.
Boyle has said Gabriel García Márquez is his favorite novelist. He is also a fan of Flannery O’Connor and Robert Coover.