A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies
These vivid and compelling tales, many set in Africa and Asia, are about immigrants and others facing change and dislocation. The science is never pedantic; indeed the language of biology and natural history is used to great lyrical effect. The stories are accomplished and seasoned, remarkably so given that this is the author’s first book. Murray is adept at holding together a complex narrative and creating characters who reach out emotionally to the reader upon first meeting.
Global in scope, classical in form, evocative of place, and deeply emotional, this collection marks the beginning of what promises to be an illustrious career. “Writing that bristles with emotive power.” “Brilliant…. How lucky for all of us that he chose to write fiction.” “These stories linger with you like a delicious aftertaste.” “Vibrant debut story collection…Murray’s prose is strong and agile…the affecting portraits make this collection emotionally resonant and enormously gratifying” “Stunning short story collection…writer to watch.” “Remarkable…marks the debut of an extraordinary American writer.” “As gorgeous and breathtaking as the winged marvels of the title…stories such as these remind us what constitutes humanity.” “The eight stories in John Murray’s first short-story collection achieve, individually and – collectively, an extraordinary impact and depth.” “Murray’s stories are a genuine cultural breakthrough….Adventures of the mind, rich in human feeling…departures from any other…fiction. “Teeming with…high-stakes wisdom, Murray’s stories offer a map of possibility where anything can happen.” Murray’s stories are what you might get if you combined Ethan Canin, Andrea Barrett and Jhumpa Lahiri with Anton Chekhov. “Elegant…sensitive. His writing talent has no limit.” “Brilliant…Murray weaves his experience…into gorgeous narratives.” “Beguiling…an astute debut collection.” “A terrific collection. “This wise, compassionate and exquisite book valiantly wrestles with the eternal dichotomy of mind and body.” “Remarkable. These are intelligent, sensitive stories. Readers will do well to watch for more from this gifted writer.” “Stories that are as affecting as they are suspenseful….Mr. Murray has made an impressive and assured debut.” “Compelling, compassionate, and quietly inspirational, each of these modest tales is as satisfying as a novel …exquisite.” “You leave his stories feeling you have been in the company….of an impressive writer [and] human being.” “Iridescent” “Fiction that holds firmly to scientific principles and comes with a harrowing edge of reality.” “Ambitious, varied, and strong…. To say that Murray…is a prodigious talent is something of an understatement.”
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