Murkoff, Bruce 1953-
MURKOFF, Bruce 1953-
ADDRESSES: Home—Stone Ridge, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Alfred A. Knopf, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Screenwriter and novelist.
(With Laird Koenig) Lady against the Odds (teleplay), USA, 1992.
Waterborne: A Novel, Knopf (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Bruce Murkoff, a former screenwriter based in California, moved to New York and wrote his debut novel, Waterborne. In Waterborne Murkoff offers the story of three disparate characters, Filius Poe, Lena McCardell, and Lew Beck, whose lives converge in the town of Boulder City during the Great Depression. He uses the first half of the novel to weave together the characters' background stories as told in flashback. In the second half, Filius, Lena, and Lew meet and interact in the shadow of the underconstruction Hoover Dam, which serves as the novel's setting and a draw for the characters. The three characters are able to financially benefit from the dam's construction, while struggling with the tragic events of their pasts that continue to haunt them.
Waterborne received good reviews by critics across the board, who particularly lauded Murkoff's character development and ability to make the historical details of the novel both realistic and accurate. In a Washington Post Book World review, contributor Kevin Baker wrote that "what keeps one reading . . . is how thoroughly Murkoff has imagined their worlds. Even the most minor characters are superbly rendered and alive." In the New York Times Book Review, contributor Sam Lipsyte praised Murkoff's ability to catch the feel of a particular point in history. He commented that Murkoff has "done a wonderful job of rendering the feel of the country during this despairing time, as well as providing a moving glimpse of the sorrow and drift of its people."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of Waterborne, p. 951.
Christian Science Monitor, March 1, 2004, Ron Charles, "Diverting a River, Turning a Heart."
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2004, review of Waterborne, p. 10.
Library Journal, November 15, 2003, Lawrence Rungren, review of Waterborne, p. 98.
Nation, April 12, 2004, Philip Connors, "In America," p. 26.
New York Times Book Review, May 2, 2004, Sam Lipsyte, "Dam Yankees," p. 18.
Publishers Weekly, January 26, 2004, review of Waterborne, p. 228.
Washington Post Book World, March 7, 2004, Kevin Baker, "Power Up," p. 7.
University of Mississippi Web site,http://www.olemiss.edu/ (September 8, 2004), "The Eleventh Oxford Conference for the Book."*