Detours and Dead Ends: On the Value of Wonder and Wandering in Crime Fiction with William Boyle
Out of stock
Once a week Wednesdays, 1:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT September 29 to November 3, 2021
Online via Zoom
When people think of crime fiction, they often think of severe plotting, mysteries that need solving, and puzzles pieced together as a narrative unfolds. But what initially drew novelist William Boyle to the genre was a taste for unpredictability—writers who are unafraid of wandering off course, or sacrificing cohesion and neatness in the name of making a weird decision or following a wild impulse. This workshop will consider how writers of crime fiction might retain a sense of wonder and embrace offbeat decision-making in a culture that overvalues uniformity and familiarity.
Levels: Intermediate, Advanced
William Boyle is from Brooklyn, New York. He’s the author of six novels: Gravesend, which was nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in France and shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger in the U.K.; Everything is Broken, originally published in France and serialized in the Southwest Review; The Lonely Witness, which was nominated for the Hammett Prize and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière; A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself, an Amazon Best Book in 2019 and winner of the Prix Transfuge du meilleur polar étranger in France; City of Margins, a Washington Post Best Thriller and Mystery Book of 2020; and, most recently, Shoot the Moonlight Out, which will be published in November 2021. All are available from Pegasus Crime. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
By William Boyle
City of Margins
By William Boyle
Published by Pegasus
In City of Margins, the lives of several lost souls intersect in Southern Brooklyn in the early 1990s. There’s Donnie Parascandolo, a disgraced ex-cop with blood on his hands; Ava Bifulco, a widow whose daily work grind is her whole life; Nick, Ava’s son, a grubby high school teacher who dreams of a shortcut to success; Mikey Baldini, a college dropout who’s returned to the old neighborhood, purposeless and drifting; Donna Rotante, Donnie’s ex-wife, still reeling from the suicide of their teenage son; Mikey’s mother, Rosemarie, also a widow, who hopes Mikey won’t fall into the trap of strong arm work; and Antonina Divino, a high school girl with designs on breaking free from Brooklyn. Uniting them are the dead: Mikey’s old man, killed over a gambling debt, and Donnie and Donna’s poor son, Gabe.
These characters cross paths in unexpected ways, guided by coincidence and the pull of blood. There are new things to be found in the rubble of their lives, too. The promise of something different beyond the barriers that have been set out for them. This is a story of revenge and retribution, of facing down the ghosts of the past, of untold desires, of yearning and forgiveness and synchronicity, of the great distance of lives lived in dangerous proximity to each other. City of Margins is a Technicolor noir melodrama pieced together in broken glass.
About this series
We strive to make our classes the most inviting and rewarding available, offering an intimate environment to study with award-winning, world-class writers. Each class is specially designed by the instructor, so whether you’re a fledgling writer or an MFA graduate polishing your novel, you’ll find a perfect fit here.
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