T. Corraghessan Boyle is a hard-working, extremely productive American author, living and teaching in Southern California, who produces new and original work to the tune of a novel and a few short stories every year. A master of the short form, his stories have thrilled and entertained in the pages of The New Yorker, Harper's, Playboy and elsewhere in the latter half of the 20th century and dawn of the 21st. His work ethic is stunning and the quality of the work, arguably peerless. Boyle has a history of taking places, sitting in them, researching them and weaving an original tale. I am reminded of "East is East" in that way when thinking about how to talk about "San Miguel." It's the story of families who inhabit a cold, barren rock off the coast of Southern California, but in Boyle's hands it is the epic tale of the settler's struggle set against the timeless struggle faced by families everywhere. No male American writer that I have read recently so faithfully renders the standpoint of women. Boyle's clean narrative style and well-worked structure flows fast and clear. These families are open to us by his deft hand. I am reminded of Kawabata for the elegance here. Highly recommended.
The brilliant and acclaimed New York Times bestseller from the author ofThe Women and When the Killing's DoneJust off the coast of Southern California, two families one in the 1880s and one in the 1930s come to desolate, windswept San Miguel Island in search of self-reliance, freedom, and a new start in their lives. Both Marantha Waters and Elise Lester strive to help their war veteran husbands pursue their dreams but must themselves grapple with the more nebulous hardships of raising a family in brutal isolation. Boyle 'skillfully captures that tension-filled quietude (The New Times Book Review) in this lyrical, intimate, and unforgettable novel.