It is 1970, and a down-at-the-heels California commune devoted to peace, free love, and the simple life has decided to relocate to the last frontier--the unforgiving landscape of interior Alaska--in the ultimate expression of going back to the land. Armed with the spirit of adventure and naïve optimism, the inhabitants of Drop City arrive in the wilderness of Alaska only to find their utopia already populated by other young homesteaders. When the two communities collide, unexpected friendships and dangerous enmities are born as everyone struggles with the bare essentials of life: love, nourishment, and a roof over ones head. Rich, allusive, and unsentimental, T.C. Boyles ninth novel is a tour de force infused with the lyricism and take-no-prisoners storytelling for which he is justly famous.
A second volume of collected short fiction--from the bestselling author and winner of the 2015 Rea Award for the Short Story Few authors write with such sheer love of story and language as T.C. Boyle, and that is nowhere more evident than in his inventive, wickedly funny, and always entertaining short stories. In 1998, T.C. Boyle Stories brought together the authors first four collections to critical acclaim. Now, T.C. Boyle Stories II gathers the work from his three most recent collections along with fourteen new tales previously unpublished in book form as well as a preface in which Boyle looks back on his career as a writer of stories and the art of making them. By turns mythic and realistic, farcical and tragic, ironic and moving, Boyles stories have mapped a wide range of human emotions. The fifty-eight stories in this new volume, written over the last eighteen years, reflect his maturing themes. Along with the satires and tall tales that established his reputation, readers will find stories speaking to contemporary social issues, from air rage to abortion doctors, and character-driven tales of quiet power and passion. Others capture timeless themes, from first love and its consequences to confrontations with mortality, or explore the conflict between civilization and wildness. The new stories find Boyle engagingly testing his characters emotional and physical endurance, whether its a group of giants being bred as weapons of war in a fictional Latin American country, a Russian woman who ignores dire warnings in returning to her radiation-contaminated home, a hermetic writer who gets more than a break in his routine when he travels to receive a minor award, or a man in a California mountain town who goes a little too far in his concern for a widow. Mordant wit, emotional power, exquisite prose: it is all here in abundance. T.C. Boyle Stories II is a grand career statement from a writer whose imagination knows no bounds.