Boyle, it seems, has written a book about identity theft. His publisher told him that he's written a thriller, but he claimed that he's never read a thriller or a mystery and doesn't know the conventions of the genres. Besides, he said, those stories are all about black and white good guys and bad guys, and that doesn't interest him at all.
Could the guy be a bigger lit fic cliche?
Added later: You can now listen to the story online.
Also, this is the message I'm sending to the show about it:
How can TC Boyle say that thrillers and whodunits are "very black and white, always" half a breath after says that he's never read either type of book? He should be embarrassed that he claimed in one sentence that he doesn't know what the conventions in those novels are, then say that he wants to subvert them and make something new in the next sentence.
It seems obvious Mr. Boyle knows nothing about the mystery genre beyond a few warmed-over litcrit cliches. I wish him luck with his new novel, and hope he does not reinvent the genre wheel, as so many of his fellow lit writers have done over the last 10 or 15 years when they dabble in genre.