Saturday, May 4, 2013

An Author a Day for Thirty Days: Day 4

Charming Kitten.
Not going to win. Sorry Zorro.
It's Kentucky Derby Day. Zorro's pick is Charming Kitten, of course. I like Overanalyze. Both picks are based solely on the names. I love the ponies. Horses are pretty. I wish I could pick Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon for my blog pick today, as it's A) a National Book Award winner, and B) a brilliant novel about the people at a run-down West Virginia horse racing track. Great book. Sadly, I think I've sung its praises before, and this month we're looking for the authors we've ignored previously. Thus, my pick isn't Derby related.
T.C. Boyle. He's a literary rock star.

Today's author is T.C. Boyle. If you ever saw the most poo-infused movie ever, The Road to Wellville, you've spent some time with something Boyle-inspired. He wrote the book upon which the movie was based, turning his sharp wit to the era when healthy living and sanitariums became the rage. Victorian proper living mixes with poop and sex and breakfast cereal.

T.C. Boyle is a prolific writer who has won the PEN/Faulkner Award World's End, was a finalist for the National Book Award Drop City, and is one of those writers I can't believe isn't more widely read. He's a great short story writer, too, and you know that Gianna and I love our short fiction.

The book that launched me on Boyle was The Tortilla Curtain, a book that doesn't shy away from social issues while still telling a great, unforgettable story. Set in Los Angeles, the two worlds of the extremely wealthy--those obnoxious couples in their mansions running up the canyons--and the undocumented immigrants are placed against each other. It's a story that gets at the unending arguments about immigration in border states and about human-caused environmental catastrophes. Also, the second half of the book is an action-packed thrill ride. Those aren't words you usually read with literary fiction.

Zorro's odds are 30-1. No way the cat is winning today.


  1. Oh how I love TC Boyle. But my favorite favorite novel is THE WOMEN. That's his best, in my humble opinion!

  2. Love him too, but WATER MUSIC is my favorite.