"Riveting . . . Unsettling, lavish stories . . . It's a brutal frontier world Murray investigates, one she questions in all its dark detail. . . . The masterpiece is 'Fish,' which could have been a book on its own . . . the kind of discovery that will stick with you for life."Leigh Newman, O, The Oprah Magazine (Book of the Week)
Listen to Alan Cheuse's Review on NPR's All Things Considered
PEN/Faulkner winner Sabina Murray’s latest collection infuses new life into the high seas and “dark continent” adventures we learned about in history class. In these ten gripping and imaginative tales, Murray
confronts the manipulation, compassion, ambition, and controversy surrounding some of the most intrepid and sadistic pioneers of the last four millennia.
Murray’s iconic explorers and settlers are made intimately human as they plow through the unnavigated boundaries of their worlds to give shape to modern geography, philosophy, and science. As Ferdinand Magellan sets out on his final voyage, he forms an unlikely friendship with a rich scholar who harbors feelings for the captain, but in the end the scholar cannot save Magellan from his own greed. Balboa’s peek at the South Sea
may never have happened if it hadn’t been for his loyal and vicious dog, Leonico, and Balboa’s unavoidable urge to relieve himself. And Captain Zimri Coffin is plagued by sleepless nights after reading Frankenstein
, that is until his crew rescues two shipwrecked Englishmen who carry rumor of a giant and deadly white whale lurking in the depths of the ocean.
With her signature blend of sophistication and savagery, darkness and humor, Sabina Murray investigates the complexities of faith, the lure of the unknown, and the elusive mingling of history and legend.