Department of English

The Caprices ( Grove Press, 2007)

Mon, July 7, 2008
Winner of the 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction


“Not since Stephen Crane has a nonparticipant imagined war with such a feverish combination of passion and lucidity.”  Valerie Martin

“Along with these characters-inside their skins, their very bones-we learn sometimes unwillingly, more of the possibilities that arise with being human.” Kate Wheeler

The Caprices is a collection of stories artfully told across the theatre of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. An Anglo-Indian cavalryman, his homeland on the brink of revolution, finds himself in Malaysia fighting to protect British interests. Two soldiers lost in the jungle with a Japanese prisoner confront their prejudices toward each other, and the nature of being American. An island witnesses the passing of history from Magellan, to Amelia Earhart, to the dropping of the atomic bomb. With exquisite lyricism tempered by a journalist’s eye for detail, Murray shines light on the tangle of battles created by that conflict, the violent reach across the generations, the shattering reverberations in memory. With this collection, Sabina Murray established herself as a passionate and wise voice of literary fiction.

Sabina Murray grew up in Australia and the Phillipines.  A former Michener Fellow at the University of Texas and Bunting Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University, she is the author of the novel Slow Burn. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Ontario Review, New England Review, and other magazines. She has also written a screenplay titled Beautiful Country, commissioned by Terence Malick and starring Nick Nolte. Murray is the Roger Murray Writer in Residence at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Her supervisor was James Magnuson.

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