Roughly 40 years ago in Pasadena, in an apartment court dating from the Raymond Chandler era, I heard T. C. Boyle read his story “Ike and Nina,” purporting to give a former staffer’s account of an improbable attraction between President Eisenhower and the wife of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. He was T. Coraghessan Boyle in those early days, a theatrical figure with a name to match; I’d been reading him since his first stories appeared in little magazines. Some writers are good readers of their own fiction; more are not. Boyle is one of the best I’ve ever heard, not …
This article appears as “All Too Human” in the October 18, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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