Tuesday, October 07, 2003

"Butterflies are a metaphor for life...beautiful, fleeting, fragile, incomprehensible."
John Murray, from A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies

John Murray's collection of short stories is meant to be read and re-read. His writing is economically precise, clear-cut, no wasted or empty words anywhere. I started reading this when we were vacationing in the Adirondacks, all of it during the onset and beginning days of Ken's illness. I wish I owned a copy, because I'd love to pick it up and read a passage here, a passage there whenever I want. Favorite stories: "The Hill Station," "Watson and the Shark," and the title story.

I was blown away to learn that Murray was raised in Australia, and that during his childhood he spent school vacations working on his grandfather's huge sheep farm deep in the bush. He doesn't have an Australian story in the bunch. Based on all his stories dealing with the Indian immigrant experience, I would have guessed he was raised in India. More surprises about Murray in the Atlantic interview.


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