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T. Coraghessan Boyle (Thomas Coraghessan Boyle) Biography

(1948– ), (Thomas Coraghessan Boyle), Descent of Man, Water Music, Budding Prospects, Greasy Lake and Other Stories

American novelist, born in Peekshill, New York, the grandson of Irish immigrants. He was educated at the State University of New York and the University of Iowa, where his teachers at the Iowa Writers' Workshop included J. Cheever and J. Irving. A collection of short stories, Descent of Man (1979), was followed by a novel, Water Music (1981), which is set in 1795 and interweaves scenes of London low-life with an account of the adventures of the explorer Mungo Park in the Sahara. Other works include Budding Prospects (1984), about a professional marijuana grower; Greasy Lake and Other Stories (1985), based on the author's troubled childhood; East is East (1990), about a Japanese man's encounter with American culture; The Road to Wellville (1993), set in turn-of-the-century Michigan, and focusing on the inventor of the cornflake, John Harvey Kellogg; Without a Hero (1995), a collection of short stories dealing with millennial anxieties; and The Tortilla Curtain (1995), a seriocomic view of middle-class values in contemporary California. His style blends surrealism with anarchic humour and displays a relish for the more bizarre episodes of history; he has acknowledged the influence of D. Barthelme, J. Barth, and T. Pynchon.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Edward Bond (Thomas Edward Bond) Biography to Bridge