Murray, John 1962-
Murray, John 1962-
Centers for Disease Control's Epidemic Intelligence Service, physician, 1992—; Iowa Writers' Workshop, Iowa City, IA, former teaching-writing fellow.
Prairie Lights Short Fiction Award, for "The Hill Station."
A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies (short stories), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor to the anthology Best New American Voices, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, 2002.
John Murray originally trained to be a doctor, before going on to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop. While there, he worked as a teaching fellow. He then returned to medicine, working as an epidemiologist, while he continued to write. Murray's story "The Hill Station" won the Prairie Lights Short Fiction Award, and Joyce Carol Oates chose it for inclusion the 2002 edition of the Best New American Voices anthology. A common theme in Murray's stories concerns characters who have left behind one life for another, and who are attempting to reconcile the two parts of their existence. His first collection, A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies, is the result of his own conflicted feelings regarding his original career in medicine, and the butterflies that appear throughout the work can be considered as representative of the fragility of life, but also of the potential for rebirth and/or redemption. In an interview for the Atlantic Online, Murray remarked: "I'd reached a point where I'd accumulated so much uncertainty about the purpose of what I was doing that I had to write fiction to figure it out." A contributor for Kirkus Reviews called the book "well-practiced, from a voice we'll surely hear from again." Susan Lumpkin, in a review for ZooGoer, called Murray's collection a series of "exquisitely written stories."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2002, review of A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies, p. 1796.
New Scientist, May 10, 2003, Maggie McDonald, "Winged Words," p. 53.
ZooGoer, September-October, 2003, Susan Lumpkin, review of A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies, p. 32.
Adelaide Festival of Ideas Web site,http://www.adelaidefestivalofideas.com.au/ (July 25, 2006), brief biography on Murray.
Atlantic Online,http://www.theatlantic.com/ April 2, 2003, "Caught between Places."