by: Adrian Cepeda
Friend of WordTheatre®, T. C. Boyle was awarded the illustrious $30,000 Lifetime Achievement REA Award for Short Story Writing on Wednesday, April 22nd. Boyle has written over one hundred short stories and fifteen novels and has won many other writing accolades that include the PEN/Faulkner Award, France’s Prix Passion prize, and, as of March, Boyle has been given the Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Boyle, whose latest novel The Harder They Come was released last month to rave reviews, was lauded by REA jurors that included Richard Bausch, Robert Olen Butler and Elizabeth Strout, who called this year’s winner, “[…] a genuine American original. His stories fairly glitter with imagination, an immense variety, hilarity, ambition and achieved talent. To his enduring credit and his readers’ delight and amaze, less is not in the Boyle fictive vocabulary, though in his stories’ dedication to matters of the heart and the human spirit, his finely tuned wit and his vision of our sometimes sad American fate have nothing of the cynical or the hopeless. His incomparable stories, even in their occasional dark interludes, always come to us as a celebration. They redeem us and delight us and awaken our awareness as the finest writing should.”
Boyle wasn’t the first WordTheatre author to win the REA Award for Short Story Writing; past WordTheatre writers who won this rare award include:
2012: Richard Bausch
2011: Charles Baxter
2010: James Salter
2008: Amy Hempel
2007: Stuart Dybek
2005: Anne Beattie
1998: John Edgar Wideman
1990: Joyce Carol Oates
1989: Tobias Wolff
In response to winning the REA Award Boyle said, “Art bailed me out. It sounds corny but there’s a power in it that I would never give up. There’s a light that fills you when you’re writing; there’s a magic. I don’t know what it is. It’s a miracle and it’s a rush and immediately on finishing, you want to do it again. It’s so utterly thrilling to me; it’s all I want to do.”
We at WordTheatre honor one of our friends and favorite authors for winning the $30,000 Lifetime Achievement REA Award for Short Story Writing. T.C. Boyle rightfully takes his place among the past winners listed above. Like his predecessors, Boyle’s work is a unique and challenging experience, yet it remains beautiful on a fundamentally human level.
It’s no coincidence that Boyle won this prestigious REA award; he is still the master of his craft. We urge you to not only read his new novel The Harder They Come but make sure you check out his latest work, “Don’t Miss Your Water (’Til the Well Runs Dry), ” which is simply one of the best short stories I have ever read.