With all the nonfiction we tree huggers have to consume to stay on top of what’s happening in the world science and political-wise, it’s nice to be able to settle down with a fiction book once in a while. Some of the best come from the often satirical pen of T. Coraghessan Boyle. Best known for his award-winning The Tortilla Curtain (which has as part of its theme white upper class LA-area residents wanting to build a wall around their community to keep out undesirables – more relevant than ever today), Boyle has also written novels with environmental themes.
A Friend of the Earth is set in the year 2025, when as a result of climate change, many plant and animal species have become extinct and humans’ now 100-year lifespan has caused rampant overpopulation. The book tells the story of a 75-year old disillusioned former environmentalist now living in Santa Barbara, caught up in a last-ditch effort to preserve some of the world’s biodiversity.
When the Killing’s Done pits environmentalists with two different perspectives – a scientist from the National Park Service and an animal rights activist – in a battle over the elimination of non-native species from the Channel Islands. It is a very realistic and well-balanced exploration of the clumsy efforts of humans to preserve fragile ecosystems.
Mr. Boyle is brought to Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center, courtesy of the Foundation for San Luis Obispo County Public Libraries and Cal Poly Arts, on Sunday afternoon, May 7 at 3:00 pm. He will discuss his extensive career and the immense joy he finds while creating his work. Boyle will then perform a new short story which will remind us all of the elemental pleasure of hearing a single voice in a darkened auditorium, taking us to new places. A special VIP author meet-and-greet reception with Mr. Boyle will start at 1:30 before the talk, so come with questions and books to sign. Tickets on sale at the Cal Poly ticket office or online.