Sunday, September 9, 2018

William Boyle

William Boyle is from Brooklyn, New York. His debut novel, Gravesend, was published as #1,000 in the Rivages/Noir collection in France, where it was nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Gravesend is currently shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger in the UK and will be reissued by Pegasus Crime in the US in September 2018. Boyle is also the author of a book of short stories, Death Don’t Have No Mercy, and of another novel, Tout est Brisé (Everything is Broken). His most recent novel, The Lonely Witness, is out now from Pegasus Crime. A new novel, A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself, is forthcoming in March 2019. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

Recently I asked Boyle about what he was reading. His reply:
I was in a reading funk—kept starting things and putting them down—and then Elle Nash’s Animals Eat Each Other broke me out of it. I picked it up because it’s got a killer cover by Matthew Revert and I’ll pick up anything with a Revert cover; I was glad to find killer prose to match. Some books just hit you at the right time and this one has that raw, desperate feeling I long for in fiction. I don’t think Elle Nash would describe herself as a noir writer, but this sure feels like noir to me: doom rules the mood, to crib a line from Barry Hannah. It reminded me at various times of Susanna Moore’s In the Cut, Vicki Hendricks’s Miami Purity, and Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son, with maybe a dash of Jean Rhys mixed in there. A compelling-as-hell look at desire and obsession. So much of the tension comes from the tautness of the writing. Lines like this continue to haunt me: “She named me Lilith because it was what I wanted to become. I wanted to know what it would be like to carry a bad habit all the way through.” The book feels like stumbling in and out of the unnamed narrator’s secret lives.
Visit William Boyle's website.

My Book, The Movie: Gravesend and The Lonely Witness.

The Page 69 Test: Gravesend and The Lonely Witness.

--Marshal Zeringue