When the Killing's Done | T.C. Boyle | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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April 14, 2011
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Talks at Google
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When the Killing's Done | T.C. Boyle | Talks at Google

TL;DR

T.C. Boyle discusses his novel "When The Killing's Done" and his unique writing process, highlighting the themes of environmental conservation and complex relationships.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does T.C. Boyle approach writing novels versus short stories?

Boyle explains that he works on novels and short stories in separate periods, with novels allowing for more long-term planning and short stories being more spontaneous and flexible.

Q: Why did Boyle choose to structure "The Women" in reverse chronological order?

Boyle wanted to explore the different perspectives and experiences of Frank Lloyd Wright's four women, and ending with Mamah's story added a climactic element to the narrative.

Q: Do all of Boyle's works draw from historical or factual elements?

Boyle alternates between novels based on history or biology and purely fictitious stories, depending on the inspiration and concept behind each work.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • T.C. Boyle describes his writing process, which involves immersing himself in a topic and allowing his unconscious mind to shape the story organically.

  • He discusses the inspiration behind his novel "When The Killing's Done," which focuses on the restoration of the Channel Islands' ecosystem and the conflicts between environmental preservation and animal rights.

  • Boyle shares anecdotes about his real-life interactions and research, including visiting the Kinsey Institute and learning about the impact of invasive species on the islands.

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