Boyle, Kay (1902–1992) By Randall, Bryony
Kay Boyle was a novelist, short story writer, poet, essayist and political activist. Born in St Paul, Minnesota, she married a Frenchman, Richard Brault, in 1922 and moved to France with him the following year. She then lived in Europe for most of the next twenty years, and her early novels frequently reflect her own experiences as an expatriate. Languid and impressionistic in style, her early prose work focuses on relationships between men and women. In later life she also became heavily involved in politics and her work took on a more urgent social tenor; for example, the 1936 novel Death of a Man alerted readers to the threat of Nazism.