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The Caprices by Sabina Murray + Author Profile [in Bloomsbury Review]

Sabina MurrayWriting from a Different Place: A Profile of 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner Sabina Murray

When Sabina Murray first heard that she had won the prestigious 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award for her short story collection The Caprices, she thought a mistake had been made. Not until the house began to rapidly fill with flowers and e-mails arrived from around the world did she realize that “this was a big deal.”

With a major award in hand, Murray is looking at her career through new eyes: “Everything just feels different. Before, I felt like what I was writing wouldn’t necessarily get read. Now, it’s not that everything I write will be embraced, but I feel like there will be readers out there for my work, and that’s a very different place for me from which to write.”

That different place, post-PEN/Faulkner, has become literal, with a recent move to a house in Amherst – the first that Murray and her poet husband, John Hennessey, have bought, where they are finally feeling settled with their two young sons. “I feel so grown-up,” she laughs. In this new domicile, Murray waxes about her study, her “room of one’s own,” which is just off the porch and secluded so as to be “nice and quiet.”

The move was precipitated by a new teaching gig as an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “I have a real job with grad students,” she says with true joy. “Before, I had great high school students to teach at Phillips Academy, Andover, where I was writer-in-residence, but now I’m meeting people who are just on the brink of their careers, and that’s very exciting.” …[click here for more]

Author profile: “Writing from a Different Place: A Profile of 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner Sabina Murray,” The Bloomsbury Review, January/February 2004

Tidbit: The inventive Sabina Murray, together with the wonderful Jessica Hagedorn and Helen Zia, was a guest for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program‘s “Contemporary Asian American Writers” public program on September 29, 2004.

Readers: Adults

Published: 2002


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