His many, varied novels are part of the American literary landscape—but one of the best ways to appreciate T.C. Boyle is through his richly imagined short fiction. Boyle’s kaleidoscopic humor and wit, his keen, unforgiving take on American life, and his all-too-human protagonists all combine to make his a singular voice. Here is a collection of classic Boyle stories about teenagers (including the O. Henry Award-winning "The Love of My Life") that will speak directly to them, as well as to anyone who was once a teenager.
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T. C. Boyle is the author of sixteen books of fiction. His stories have appeared in most of the major American magazines, and he has been the recipient of a number of literary awards. He currently lives near Santa Barbara, California, with his wife.They have a daughter and two sons.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up–In this collection of previously published and new stories, Boyle delivers compelling tales of humor, compassion, and intrigue. In the title story, a washed-up talent agent finds his second wind representing Zoltan Mindszenty, aka La Mosca Humana, a frail, reticent daredevil seeking notoriety in the U.S. In The Champ, Angelo D. must defend his 37-year reign as champion eater. Newcomer Kid Gullet challenges his title, all the while hilariously dissing Angelo with his Mohammed Ali-like banter. Beat is a lyrical satire in which a young man travels to Long Island at Christmastime, 1957, to meet his idol, Jack Kerouac, in what becomes a true-to-form hedonistic weekend with the writer and his Beat colleagues. The Love of My Life is a heartbreaking story of two young lovers, who find their world shattered when China becomes pregnant, and the pair tries to deliver the baby themselves in a motel room. Other notable stories are Achates McNeil, in which a dead-beat novelist father visits his son's college as a guest speaker, and 56-0, a linebacker's desperate-but-witty attempt to find a life lesson in continuous defeat. Boyle's stories are short but often challenging in their nuances, and therefore are not recommended for reluctant readers. The collection will find its best audience among thoughtful older teens.–Jane Cronkhite, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH
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