Saturday, November 12, 2011

"Bastard Blue" by Murray Dunlap.

Over the last year I discovered a friend. I also discovered a writer whose stories soar. I'm referring to Murray Dunlap. The stories he has pulled together in his newest book of stories, "Bastard Blue", had me reading many over several times. They are that good. Most of them are themed from his experiences growing up in south Alabama, but they are not simply regional. They cast a much wider net than that and the texture of the lives he writes about are palpably universal.

"Bastard Blue" is available at Amazon– in both hard copy and the Kindle edition – and bookstores everywhere.

What those who know are saying:

High Praise...
“Forged with a poet’s attention to cadence and rhythm, a storyteller’s devotion to character, and tension that just keeps ratcheting up, Bastard Blue is finally a love story, between a young man and the place that made him, the southern culture that proves to be both a blessing and a curse. Murray Dunlap is a brave writer, and an honest one; the lives he portrays here are as heart-stoppingly authentic as his prose is dazzlingly beautiful. He serves up everything I want in a story: compassion, humor, substance and style.”
Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness

"Yes, Bastard Blue is a first book but there’s more than promise on display within its pages. This collection introduces us to a fully realized talent. Murray Dunlap’s voice is confident, his characters richly drawn, his sense of place as vivid as you will find in fiction. Sentence for sentence his prose is crisp and direct, edged somehow with both menace and hope. He has a knack for creeping up to sentiment in his stories without crossing the line, leaving only genuine, well-earned emotion on the page. This book is so fine somebody should offer a money back guarantee."
-Michael Knight, author of The Typist

"If possible, read Murray Dunlap’s Bastard Blue in a Louis XV style chair, near a subtle fire, or in an Adirondack chair, between peach and dogwood trees. Reading his stories is about as close to having a storyteller there—present, in the room--as I know. This collection is full of heart, mischief, and sly winks. What a grand triumph."

-George Singleton, author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie

Murray on Murray: I was very nearly killed on 6-7-08 in a car wreck, so I'm trying very hard to put my life back together. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex injury with a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities. The impact on a person and his or her family can be devastating. And my memory-loss has to be the most frustrating component of this entire disaster. It is as if I woke up from a dream of a life to a nightmare of a reality. But, as we all do, I keep focused and build a new life.

Murray Dunlap's work has appeared in about thirty magazines and journals. His stories have been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, as well as to Best New American Voices, and his first book, "Alabama," was a finalist for the Maurice Prize in Fiction.

1 comment:

Meg Pokrass said...

Not only is this writer a hero to me he is a unique creative artist, his work is so arresting, visual, magical. "Hypnotic" if you will. So yes, I concur strongly that "Bastard Blue" is a wonderful collection and Murray Dunlap, a treasure. Thank you for introducing the work of Murray Dunlap to those who would not have known about "Bastard Blue".