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Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011

T.C. Boyle to Appear at Boswell Book Co.

Best-selling author talks ‘When the Killing’s Done’

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When the Killing’s Done is a timely and socially conscious look at 21st-century idealism and the asperities people surmount in order to live up to the values they espouse. This powerful new novel by T.C. Boyle spotlights characters striving to make choices that align with their environmental convictions; even though each person believes fiercely in protecting endangered animal populations, the lengths to which they will go to attain their objectives pit these eco-friendly Californians against each other at every turn. On one side you have Alma Boyd Takesue, an unassuming biologist who works for the National Park Service, fighting to preserve the Channel Islands off California’s Santa Barbara coast by eradicating invasive species; across the picket line, you will find local businessman and staunch activist Dave LaJoy and his folk singer girlfriend Anise Reed, who believe that killing animals is always wrong, no matter what.

This deeply engrossing tale speaks frankly about the varying degrees of passion one can have concerning a social issue and how individuals who may share the same fundamental regard for an issue can also be the biggest rivals. As is characteristic of Boyle’s earlier novels, this narrative is full of irony and satire, demonstrating how a story of rival environmental groups fighting for animal rights and restoration can also be a novel rich in drama and human relationships. When the Killing’s Done will educate readers on environmental biology without bogging down the story or taking away from a pulse-pounding plot that follows each character’s treacherous and thought-provoking journey, stopping only long enough to ask complex and challenging questions about the sanctity of life and the dominion we exert over the natural world.

In addition to being a best-selling author, Boyle is a faculty member at the University of Southern California. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop. Boyle will appear at Boswell Book Co. on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m.