the official international movement to bring back the beguiling middle name of author T.C. Boyle to all of his dust jackets and book covers

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Can it be? Tickets still left for T. Coraghessan Boyle reading at the New Yorker Fest?

According to this September 22, 2006 post in The Gothamist, it was then! Our crystal ball is foggy due to all of this rain, so contact Ticketmaster your own damn self!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Yes, me duckies, this morning is the one you've been waiing for! Tickets go on sale at noon EDT on Thursday, September 7 for T.'s 9:30 pm Friday, October 6 "Fiction Night" appearance at Cedar Lake Dance Studios, 547 West 26th Street, New York, NY, and are available either through, at all ticketmaster outlets, or by calling tollfree 1.877.391.0545. (All ticket orders are subject to service charges.) Tickets ($16 each) are rarer than hen's teeth tickets, so heed my warning if you really have a jones to go!

From the Festival website:
Andrea Lee has been a contributor to The New Yorker for more than twenty years. Her books include the memoir “Russian Journal,” which was nominated for a National Book Award; the novel “Sarah Phillips”; and the story collection “Interesting Women.” Parts of all three books first appeared in The New Yorker. A new novel, “Lost Hearts in Italy,” was published in June.

T. Coraghessan Boyle is the author of eleven novels, including “World’s End” and “Drop City,” and eight story collections, including, most recently, “Tooth and Claw,” whose title story appeared in The New Yorker and was selected for “The Best American Short Stories 2004.” His latest novel, “Talk Talk,” came out in July.

T. Coraghessan Boyle will also sign copies of his highly acclaimed new novel, Talk Talk, Saturday, October 7, from 11 am-noon at the Union Square Barnes and Noble, 33 East 17th Street.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

TCB Chats with Washington Post Readers

Little did we know, but apparently we were among those whose itty-bitty chat invites were lost in the mail a couple of months back. Oh, well, never mind, as one Emily Litella would have dismissed the omission. We're certain it was only an oversight. And now, on to the pertinent parts:
Chinatown, Washington, D.C.: Hi. How do you pronounce "Coraghessan"?

TCB: Dear Chinatown: What a pure delight. I've just come back from a nice stroll from Nob Hill, through Chinatown to North Beach and back (yes, I'm in San Francisco). The pronunciation of my middle name is Cor-ag-assen, with emphasis on the second syllable. For elaboration on this and other myteries please go to my site, or the fan sites, and

College Park, Md: My family and I enjoyed your reading and your talk last week at Politics & Prose. You have a great sense of humor (and not so serious like your jacket photos!). Question, why the switch from T. Coraghessen to T.C.? Do you think it will make you more marketable? Just curious. p.s. we love your work!

TCB: Dear College Park: Thank you a thousand times. I love to interact with the audience and do my standup shtick. Glad you liked it. Why so serious in the photos? Well, I guess a poor author is just trying to achieve a little intensity--but if you look at the photo gallery in you might find a smile or two and the back of Tooth and Claw features a delighted and grinning author. As for the abridgement of my name, this is a direct result of a groveling and drawn-out plea on the part of the art director at Viking. Please, he said, I just can't fit Coraghessan on the page! I shrugged. And accomodated him. Why not make it easy on everyone (including the French, who give the pronunciation of my name as ti-ci).

Full chat transcript here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Me, oh, my, oh! Here we are, almost a year flown by again since the last Manhattan literary orgy referred to amongst we congnescenti as The New Yorker Festival. [And let me offer ye chicklets this little nibbin of advice: if you want to attend any of the events, make haste and get thee to a celly and buzz, buzz, buzz the number listed for tickets. They sell out in the blink of an eye, so have your finger at the ready as soon as the day of sale dawns on September 7th!]

Once more, on Friday, October 6, 2006, our beloved Coraghessan will be reading, coupled with partner Andrea Lee. A few years ago, the Festival love-bombed Bob Dylan with a little event called "Bringing It All Back Home: A Night of Bob Dylan to Benefit PEN." A plethora of bold-faced names were scheduled to appear. Well, let's let Ryan Bartelmay of Gadfly Online elaborate:
...Billed as a series of artists (writers, musicians, scholars) paying tribute to a man who has inspired them and so many others since the early 1960s, "Bringing It All Back Home" was to be held at Town Hall on 42nd Street, just off Times Square—the site where Dylan played his first major concert in April 1963, after leaving the Greenwich Village coffeehouses. I wanted to hear what a few literary folks and musicians — people who I admired like Rick Moody, T. C[oraghessan] Boyle, Tracey Chapman, and Graham Parker — had to say about him...

...Fred and I made it to our balcony seats just as the show was beginning (the show lasted over two hours). It kicked off with the opening to D.A. Pennebaker's Don’t Look Back — Dylan flipping the lyric cards. Then came the folks paying tribute. Graham Parker told a story about being on tour with Dylan, and then he played I Threw It All Away. Anne Waldman read a poem paying homage to the Shaman, Bob Dylan, while her 16-year-old son improvised on the sax. I was waiting for the audience to start snapping, but they never did. T. C[oraghessan] Boyle read a piece about wanting his hair to look like Dylan’s on the cover of Blonde On Blonde. He told the audience that all writers wanted to be Bob Dylan, and that’s why they formed bands. Rather, that’s why he formed a band—a very bad band, he said. Rick Moody read a prose tribute to his favorite album, Blood On the Tracks. The Esquires—David Rawlings, Gillian Welch, and David Steele—did a ten-minute, raw-and-rocking cover of Idiot Wind. Bobbie Ann Mason told the audience that Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote somewhere that he wanted a poet to come and sing in the American idiom. She believed this to be Bob Dylan. The Boston University professor and literary critic Christopher Ricks talked about Dylan’s brilliant use of rhyme. Patti Smith said Dylan’s songs helped her, a wallflower, come into bloom. Then she sang Dark Eyes a cappella, and I almost started crying. [Editor's Note: We wuvs our Patti!] Greg Brown and Rickie Lee Jones each came out separately with their acoustic guitars and covered a Dylan song, as did Tracy Chapman. The final performance of the night was from the man himself, in a recording from the Steve Allen Show, when he played The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol....

Read full entry here.

For updates, and to sign up for the New Yorker Festival Wire, please visit

Tickets go on sale September 7th.

Monday, September 04, 2006

screenscribbler's favorite TCB tale:

A new member of the official TCB messageboard tells this story -- another one for the archives!
[S]ome years ago, I was in Vroman's, and a man was asking a clerk for a book he had heard reviewed on the radio. He didn't know the title and said, "the author's name was something like 'Corrugated Doyle.'" The clerk was utterly clueless, so I leaned over the counter after the man had left and said quietly to her, "I think he means 'T. Coraghessan Boyle.'" I ended up going out with the clerk a few times, and that's pretty much the only thing I can remember about her.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Funding at Iowa, and T. C[oragheassan] Boyle miscellany

We found this July 16, 2006 post at Maud Newton's blog:
John McNally remembers his years at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Despite faculty members’ disdain toward his work, he ended up serving as T.C[oraghessan] Boyle’s research assistant.

When I arrived at the Workshop in the fall of 1987 without funding, I was told by a second-year student (a student who is now a bestselling novelist) that I shouldn’t worry, that everyone got funding their second year — everyone, she added, except for those who clearly don’t deserve it. But in the spring, when financial aid was doled out, I was one of three fiction writers who didn’t get funding. One of three. Over and over, I asked myself, What the fuck happened? but the answer was already there, sitting in front of me, fat and dejected: You, Mr. McNally, are one of the undeserving! Had I not worked hard enough? Were my stories shit? Was it because I had gone to Southern Illinois University instead of Harvard or Johns Hopkins for my undergrad degree? Who knew? That summer, a visiting editor read my work, liked what he saw, and spoke to the powers that be, and so by the fall I had been awarded a skimpy research assistantship. Enter T. Coraghessan Boyle. Tom to his friends.

Tom liked me in part, I suspect, because he looked at my experiences at Iowa and saw a reflection of his own. Tom had gone to SUNY-Potsdam; Jack Leggett, the director of the workshop in Tom’s day, had gone to Yale. Tom was still a hippie, cranked up on attitude. Apparently, Jack and Tom did not see eye to eye. According to Tom, he himself had been left out of the funding pool, and so anger became his fuel, his motivator. And maybe this was the best thing that could have happened to him. As a student, he began publishing in places most writers only dream about — The Atlantic, Esquire... "Bury your enemies, John. Bury your enemies, and bury ‘em deep." We were standing in some student’s apartment the first time he told me this, crammed in the corner of a kitchen, drinking beer. Tom shook his head, smiling. You could see it in his eyes: the sweetness of vindication.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My #6 favorite book of all time is Water Music by T. Coraghessan Boyle.

So writes one Oxypoet on BillyBlog: Food for the Creative Imagination. Here is his opinion of our much-loved T. Coraghessan Boyle novel:
My #6 favorite book of all time is Water Music by T. Coraghessan Boyle. You've heard me talk about Boyle before, way back in the infancy of BillyBlog here (to see a photo with me and the author) and here (discussing his last novel The Inner Circle).

I believe the first Boyle book I ever read was World's End, but Water Music was second, and that one-two punch made me a fan for life. I try and see him whenever he comes to town. He's very prolific and, despite his gift with the novel, he's just as talented as a short story writer. Anyone who is a regular reader of The New Yorker should be familiar with him.

Water Music is grand. It's phenomenal. It is spectacular. This book actually began as his doctoral thesis, as legend serves, and took on a life of its own....

Boyle is dark. And witty. And bawdy. And brilliant. He is very accessible to his fans, and his website is a fan's delight. At one point, there was a message board linked to the site on which Boyle would respond to readers' queries. He's a book collector's dream, as he is not only prolific, but he will sign books until the cows come home, if you should come to a reading with a cartonful of books. By best accounts, I have signed/inscribed copies of 18 of his books (not including multiple copies). He is firm is his stance on not signing advance reader's copies, or uncorrected proofs.

My copy of Water Music, alas, is not inscribed to me, but to someone named Marjorie. However, I am proud to have her copy, whoever she may be. A signed first edition of Water Music is a scarce item, although not as much as it used to be, apparently, based on a recent web search. A fine signed copy starts at $60 and runs upwards of $300, depending on the dealer and/or condition of the copy.

If you haven't read Boyle, start with this one. It's a wild ride.