Prolific author to ‘perform’ on campus - Purdue Exponent: Campus

Prolific author to ‘perform’ on campus

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Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 10:00 am

An author who has published 22 fiction novels and says he does little to no planning on his novels will be speaking tonight as part of the Purdue Libraries Distinguished Lecture Series.

T. Coraghessan Boyle, a distinguished professor of English at the University of Southern California and an internationally recognized author, will be performing his work at 7 p.m. tonight in Fowler Hall. Boyle is on the end of his book tour for his book "When the Killing's Done," which was released last month.

Boyle says he likes to call this event a "performance" rather than a reading.

"I love to call it a performance rather than a reading because that has the connotation of a lecture or a class...I believe it should be a performance and that I should turn you on (to reading books)," Boyle said.

Boyle said he discovered creative writing as a junior in college, and anything that happens to him makes him think of how he can apply the experience to his writing.

"I get inspiration from anything; there's no limits of any kind," Boyle said.

Boyle said when he's planning stories, it is a "purely intuitive" process. His process of writing is similar to what many college students do when they sit down to write a paper for a class.

"When you're doing research (for a paper), you have the material, but you don't know what it'll be and you discover what you're doing as you do it," Boyle said. "I begin to discover it."

As for advice for aspiring writers, he says that everyone has a great talent and compared finding one's niche to singing a song heard on the radio. The first step is singing it back.

"If you can imitate, you can understand how people are doing it," Boyle said. "The second step is: can you take it and assimilate it in your own voice and own way?"

Boyle said it's also important for students to read about what is going on in their field.

"No matter what anyone says, you have to have a chip on your shoulder and work on it," Boyle said.

Conor Broughan, a graduate student in English and fiction editor of Purdue's Sycamore Review, will introduce Boyle. Broughan said he hopes students see how much time Boyle put forth in reading before becoming a writer.

"In order to be a great writer, you have to first be a good reader and I hope they see how much he had to read before he started writing," Broughan said.

Broughan said he also hopes that those in attendance become reinvigorated with books.

"(Boyle) has a lot of fun not only writing (his books), but discussing them," Broughan said. "(Boyle) always brings an interesting perspective."

In addition to his performance, Boyle will also engage in a question and answer session with the audience. Boyle said he encourages his audience to ask questions, as he wants to get to know those who are in attendance.

The performance is sponsored by the Purdue Libraries, Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts, Department of English and Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing.

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