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Pulling Back the Curtain

Ransom Center acquires T.C. Boyle's archive

By Kimberley Jones, Fri., March 9, 2012

Promotional poster for a reading of <i>The Tortilla Curtain</i> by T.C. Boyle on Nov. 14, 2006
Promotional poster for a reading of The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle on Nov. 14, 2006
Image courtesy of The Harry Ransom Center

The creative process is a subject at once fascinating and largely inscrutable. Archives, at least, can cover some of the distance between a writer's elastic imagination and what is made concrete in print. The Harry Ransom Center's latest acquisition, T.C. Boyle's papers, promises to pull back the curtain more. The voluminous collection includes drafts, proofs, correspondence with the likes of Woody Allen, Joyce Carol Oates, and David Foster Wallace, and the teaching materials of the author of such celebrated works as The Tortilla Curtain, World's End, and The Road to Wellville.

"T.C. Boyle is one of the most significant and respected authors writing today, and his archive will be a tremendous resource for the scholars who will study his work and career for generations to come," said Ransom Center director Thomas F. Staley in a statement released Wednesday. "Boyle saved and organized all of his papers. Few archives so clearly capture the working life and imagination of an author."

The HRC will open Boyle's collection to scholars once the materials have been catalogued. In the meantime, Austinites can meet the man behind the archive on March 19, when Boyle will appear at BookPeople to support his latest novel, When the Killing's Done, now out in paperback.

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