T. Coraghessan Boyle Biography
T. Coraghessan Boyle has invited comparisons to the great nineteenth-century writer Mark Twain throughout his career, and with good reason. Like Twain’s work, Boyle’s writing is characterized by a sharp and ironic sense of humor. An example of this is his wry novel about John Harvey Kellogg, The Road to Wellville. Yet Boyle’s books are more than lightweight comedies about the foibles of men. Underneath the tart humor is profound commentary about the society in which his characters live. In addition to his novels, Boyle has authored numerous short story collections, most famously Greasy Lake, which applies his unique sensibility to autobiographical tales of life in New York.
Facts and Trivia
- Boyle’s given middle name was John. As a young man, he had it legally changed to Coraghessan.
- The well-educated Boyle has a BA in English, an MFA in creative writing, and a PhD in nineteenth-century British literature.
- Shortly after completing his doctoral work, Boyle received a creative writing grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.
- For more than twenty years, Boyle has taught English at U.C. Santa Barbara.
- Boyle’s epic World’s End earned him the prestigious Pen/Faulkner Award. The novel takes place over three centuries in New York and is a smorgasbord of seemingly incongruous characters and situations.