A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies

Stories

By John Murray
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060509293, 288pp.)

Publication Date: February 2004

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

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.




About the Author

John Murray trained as a doctor and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was a teaching-writing fellow. "The Hill Station" won the Prairie Lights Short Fiction Award, and the title story was selected by Joyce Carol Oates for the Best New American Voices 2002 fiction anthology. John Murray currently lives in Iowa.




Praise For A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies

“Writing that bristles with emotive power.”
-Library Journal

“Brilliant.... How lucky for all of us that he chose to write fiction.”
-Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

“These stories linger with you like a delicious aftertaste.”
-Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country and The Tennis Partner

“Vibrant debut story collection…Murray’s prose is strong and agile…the affecting portraits make this collection emotionally resonant and enormously gratifying”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Stunning short story collection…writer to watch.”
-Booklist (starred)

“Remarkable...marks the debut of an extraordinary American writer.”
-Buffalo News

“As gorgeous and breathtaking as the winged marvels of the title...stories such as these remind us what constitutes humanity.”
-San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“The eight stories in John Murray’s first short-story collection achieve, individually and - collectively, an extraordinary impact and depth.”
-San Diego Tribune

“Murray’s stories are a genuine cultural breakthrough….Adventures of the mind, rich in human feeling…departures from any other…fiction.
-Muriel Spark

“Teeming with...high-stakes wisdom, Murray’s stories offer a map of possibility where anything can happen.”
-Boston Globe

Murray’s stories are what you might get if you combined Ethan Canin, Andrea Barrett and Jhumpa Lahiri with Anton Chekhov.
-San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“Elegant...sensitive. His writing talent has no limit.”
-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Brilliant...Murray weaves his experience...into gorgeous narratives.”
-Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Beguiling…an astute debut collection.”
-Book Forum

“A terrific collection.
-Washington Post Book World

“This wise, compassionate and exquisite book valiantly wrestles with the eternal dichotomy of mind and body.”
-Los Angeles Times

“Remarkable. These are intelligent, sensitive stories. Readers will do well to watch for more from this gifted writer.”
-Charlotte Observer

“Stories that are as affecting as they are suspenseful....Mr. Murray has made an impressive and assured debut.”
-Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Compelling, compassionate, and quietly inspirational, each of these modest tales is as satisfying as a novel ...exquisite.”
-Daily Mail (London)

“You leave his stories feeling you have been in the company....of an impressive writer [and] human being.”
-Jack Kemp, Sunday Times (London)

“Iridescent”
-The Observer (UK)

“Fiction that holds firmly to scientific principles and comes with a harrowing edge of reality.”
-International Herald Tribune

“Ambitious, varied, and strong…. To say that Murray…is a prodigious talent is something of an understatement.”
-Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books

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