Like many of the great baby-boomer writers, T.C. Boyle is concerned with a large cross-section of subjects, like fickle relationships, romantic ones, how and where they fit in the American experience, which Boyle sometimes describes as a looming visage of consumerism in lieu of a degenerating world– a place where “[T]here is no god, there is a bereft environment. Everything we love, the culture that we make, everything disappears…” While the outlook may be perceived as grim, it is worth noting that the quote ends with: ”So we have to live in the moment and enjoy it as best we can.”

In an interview with WordTheatre last February, from which the above is excerpted, Doyle was asked his thoughts on the future of reading and writing. “You don’t have to know how to read,” he explained. “All you have to do is use a remote and turn it on … It requires sophistication in order to appreciate short stories at the highest level, and it requires unplugging also.” Asked whether he enjoyed seeing his stories come to life via a WordTheatre event last year, Boyle beamed: “You’ve written the words and now somebody is living them. It’s great. I love it.” Of course, he said, that on those occasions in which “the actor isn’t quite doing what I’d hoped … I want to get up and choke them to death and do it myself.”

Boyle loves the written word, and likes hearing it, too. That is, if it’s done right.

For a man as opinionated as T.C. Boyle, we are happy that he has endorsed our upcoming event, “Where Words Survive And Thrive.”
Held on July 18 at Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY, “Where Words Survive and Thrive” is a benefit celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Pushcart Prize. Boyle himself has been published in two Pushcart collections, nos. IX and X, and his continued support of both the award and our mission delights us.

Boyle, who is the Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California, has published over 100 short stories, a number of which were performed at our events by John Heard, Robert Forster and Jeff Goldblum.

But of course, the real reason we love Boyle joining our Inviting Committee is that he’s coming out with an invention guaranteed to make WordTheatre a multimillion dollar industry: “You know,” he joked in our interview with him, “I’m also an inventor, and I’m working in my basement lab on a ray that will neutralize TV transmission forever.”

Good luck, T.C., and thanks for the support.

To buy tickets or donate to the 2015 Pushcart Prize Benefit, click here.

(photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times/Associated Press)