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by John Murray

ePub A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies download
Author:
John Murray
ISBN13:
978-0641675911
ISBN:
0141010479
Language:
Publisher:
Gardners Books (April 30, 2004)
Category:
Subcategory:
Contemporary
ePub file:
1563 kb
Fb2 file:
1321 kb
Other formats:
lrf lrf lit azw
Rating:
4.4
Votes:
790

John Murray trained as a doctor, and his debut collection of stories, A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies, reveals its author's background.

John Murray trained as a doctor, and his debut collection of stories, A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies, reveals its author's background. In "The Hill Station," the American-born daughter of Indian parents returns to India, where she speaks at a conference on infectious diseases

John Murray, the author of this debut collection of eight short stories . The title story, "A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies," was selected by Joyce Carol Oates for the Best New American Voices 2002 fiction anthology.

John Murray, the author of this debut collection of eight short stories, trained as a doctor and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was a teaching-writing fellow. He currently lives in Iowa. Striking the keynote theme and mood of the collection as a whole, a lepidopterist in this story says, "The average life span of an adult monarch butterfly is four weeks

Murray is adept at holding together a complex narrative and creating characters who reach out emotionally to the reader upon first meeting

Murray is adept at holding together a complex narrative and creating characters who reach out emotionally to the reader upon first meeting. Global in scope, classical in form, evocative of place, and deeply emotional, this collection marks the beginning of what promises to be an illustrious career. Fiction Short Stories. To read this book, upload an EPUB or FB2 file to Bookmate.

Murray is adept at holding together a complex narrative and creating characters who reach out emotionally to the reader upon first . All the Rivers in the World. 35. A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies.

Murray is adept at holding together a complex narrative and creating characters who reach out emotionally to the reader upon first meeting.

John Murray's book was painful for me to read. Each story was sad and each had a life lesson.

Oct 09, 2008 Alan rated it it was amazing. In the title story the narrator, a butterfly hunting grandfather is captured by cannibals, the first European thye’ve seen, thinking him magical with his magnifying glass that can start fires. These are incredible intergenerational, intercontinental, interdisciplinary stories, combining medicine, lepidoptery, love and the theory of evolution. John Murray's book was painful for me to read. How will you conduct yourself when faced with your most important task, regardless of age?

John Murray's collection is simply marvelous. We can thank the publisher for issuing this book in the spring.

John Murray's collection is simply marvelous. These stories are marvelous for several reasons. First, John Murray is a medical doctor who has come to understand the workings of science as both a discipline and as a profession in a way that is unusual among writers. He is not in awe of his characters, there is no hero-worship. Murray's prose almost demands to be read aloud and we have all summer, now, to sit under oak trees and do precisely that. a few short notes on tropical butterflies john murry. Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence (By the Book).

by John Murray Murray’s stories are what you might get if you combined Ethan Canin, Andrea Barrett and Jhumpa Lahiri with Anton Chekhov.

Audiobooks Now. B&N. Murray’s stories are what you might get if you combined Ethan Canin, Andrea Barrett and Jhumpa Lahiri with Anton Chekhov. His writing talent has no limit. Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In this debut collection, John Murray meshes fact with fiction, taking his inspiration from the worlds of science, medicine, and nature. They unfold to tell of moments when people catch glimpses of their real selves, their pasts, and have flashes of understanding about their lives. The title story tells of an aging surgeon who uses his grandfather's collection of butterflies to try and make sense of his past.

ALiEM Bookclub's selects "A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies" by John Murray with initial reflections by. .In a note addressed to librarians, Murray explains the background behind this book: Many of the characters in these stories are displaced and coping with change.

ALiEM Bookclub's selects "A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies" by John Murray with initial reflections by Dr. Jordana Haber. He wrote this book after working in medical programs in developing countries for a few years. He described that he was sitting at a meeting in Ethiopia with colleagues when he realized that everyone in the room was divorced. He began to think of who these people really were.

  • This is a terrific collection of short stories: His "Watson and the Shark" will be an all time classic of the storyteller's art. In a word: Brilliant!

  • Special stories with an international perspective. Beautifullly written and compassionate views of humanity, and moments of chance that change our lives.

  • From the first sentence, these stories have a simple, direct tone that is reminiscent of Hemingway. "On the first morning of the training in Bombay, just minutes before she collapsed, Elizabeth Dinakar stood in front of two hundred people in the conference hall, pointed up at the cholera bacteria magnified on the wall in front of her, and said, 'this is your enemy.'"
    Every event feels urgent and full of vitality. Though the characters may have feelings that are often ambiguous, the style has a clarity that pulls the reader into the story.
    Often in a collection of stories, there is little to indicate how or why these particular stories fit together. Such is not the case here. Thematically, the stories in A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies overlap quite a bit. The first story, "The Hill Station," crosses cultural boundaries, expresses an intimate familiarity with medical professions and explores the emotional isolation of a career professional. Variations on these themes are treated throughout the stories in this collection.
    In exploring these themes, the protagonists are frequently introspective. They think and remember and think some more before taking the one decisive action that is pivotal to their lives and the climax of the story. These intensely analytical characters express their emotions through their obsessions. They are beetle collectors, mountain climbers and third world volunteer doctors.
    As focused as the themes are between the stories, the settings are diverse. From the top of the Himalayas to the American Midwest, the author captures the essence of these locales and many more besides.
    Each location has its own distinct personality that is conveyed by the vegetation and the weather, the sounds and smells, even the very feel of the wind and sun. All this adds richness and depth to this fine collection of stories.
    The stories in this collection capture the poignant solitude that everyone faces in their lives from time to time. This is the bright start for Murray's writing career.
    Overall, this collection of poignant stories is a treat. They show growth occurring through painful realizations of inadequacy.

  • John Murray, the author of this debut collection of eight short stories, trained as a doctor and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was a teaching-writing fellow. He currently lives in Iowa.
    The title story, "A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies," was selected by Joyce Carol Oates for the Best New American Voices 2002 fiction anthology.
    Striking the keynote theme and mood of the collection as a whole, a lepidopterist in this story says, "The average life span of an adult monarch butterfly is four weeks. Four weeks to be a momentary burst of color and to reproduce. There is a painful transience to it all. They are nothing but a drop of color in the ocean. A fleeting moment that dazzles and blinds, and then is gone forever. There is something about the transience and the beauty of these insects that gets into your blood. Butterflies are a metaphor for life. Beautiful, fleeting, fragile, incomprehensible."
    In "The Hill Station," Elizabeth Dinakar, the American-born daughter of Indian parents, travels from Atlanta to the filthy, pestilential slums of Bombay, India, and to the hospital tents in the Jogeshwari slums, where she witnesses the ravaging effects of cholera.
    In "All the Rivers in the World," Vitek Kerolak, a man who is afraid not so much of the sea itself but of the concept of the sea, travels to Key West, Florida, to reestablish contact with his estranged father.
    In "White Flour" we meet a woman who does not believe in sparing her children. "Give it to them straight," she says. "Let them understand that life is a cruel mistress, nothing pretty about it."
    In "Watson and the Shark," a young American trauma surgeon is counseled to develop a philosophy of disaster. Wounded by insurgent rebels in the jungles of central Africa, he bribes his attackers and forsakes those whom he came to save.
    In "The Carpenter Who Looked Like a Boxer," Danny Dalton didn't like the idea of dark things living in his walls. Abandoned by his wife, solid, reliable, dependable Danny must care for their two children. Stress begins to take its toll, as Danny begins hearing noises in the wall of the house he built as a wedding gift.
    In "Blue" a mountain climber traverses the ice-blue world of a Himalayan peak. The ghostly memories he has of his deceased father soon turn into a nightmare.
    In "Acts of Memory, Wisdom of Man," an elderly man recalls the turbulent summer of 1968, the Vietnam protest marches, and the chain of events that shaped his brother's tragic fate.
    John Murray takes us to exotic places: the jungles of Amazonia, New Guinea, and central Africa; Sri Lanka and the slums of Bombay and Calcutta; Kathmandu and the Himalayan chain.

    His stories deal with pride and fear; impotence, infidelity, and miscarriage; plague and disease; refugee camps and displaced people; lost dreams and failed ambitions; murder and suicide; senility and madness; death and devastation.
    Murrary doesn't believe in sparing his readers. Give it to them straight, he says, let them understand that life is a cruel mistress, nothing pretty about it. His characters doggedly and desperately seek order amidst chaos, discipline to overcome anarchy, the light of logic and reason to counter the darkness of superstition, and the fine precision of the scientific method as a shield against ignorance.
    But this is not the whole story. Murray skillfully tempers science with art. Writing in a beautiful, poetic prose that brushes against one's cheeks like Angels' breath, he tempers brutal realism with dreamlike romanticism. He counterbalances Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection with musings on the transcendental, inscrutable mystery of life.
    Such a juxtaposition may at first seem strange, but an artistic symmetry emerges in Murray's stories between the determinism of the outer world and the freedom of the inner world. I prefer to call this literary phenomenon "visionary existentialism."
    In Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau writes: "When I had mapped the pond, I laid a rule on the map lengthwise, and then breadthwise, and found, to my surprise, that the line of greatest length intersected the line of greatest breadth exactly at the point of greatest depth."
    A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies illustrates a similar congruence of art and science. Blending rational intelligence with romantic passion, Murray writes with an astonishing maturity. There are frightening depths here and heights of beauty.
    Roy E. Perry of Nolensville is an amateur philosopher and Civil War buff. He is an advertising copywriter at a Nashville Publishing House.