Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sara Flannery Murphy

Sara Flannery Murphy grew up in Arkansas, where she divided her time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small artists’ community in the Ozark Mountains. She received her MFA in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis and studied library science in British Columbia. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and son.

Murphy's newly released first novel is The Possessions.

Recently I asked the author about what she was reading. Her reply:
Currently, I’m reading Little Deaths by Emma Flint. Even though the novel takes place in the 1960s, the same era as the case that inspired Flint’s debut, the plot feels sharply relevant today. I’m probably not the first person to think of Casey Anthony while reading this book, and I won’t be the last. Any well-publicized trial that involves a mother inevitably churns up some complicated attitudes toward women: can a woman who embraces her sexuality also be a devoted mother? I’m enjoying Flint’s exploration of a woman going through unthinkable trauma while having to reckon with the suspicions of her community.

I recently finished Pleasantville by Attica Locke. It’s a twisty political mystery with a very human core, focusing on the ways a fraught mayoral race impacts a Texas community. The political secrets, scandals, and machinations, plus the smart exploration of race in American politics, kept me riveted.

And finally, I just completed A Word for Love by Emily Robbins. This is a love story based in Syria. Two things make the story unique. First, the fact that the romance doesn’t involve the narrator, Bea, who’s an American student temporarily visiting the Middle East. Usually, the American ends up with the starring role in travel narratives, so I appreciated this twist. I also liked the closeness of the story, how the political unrest was understood through the lens of an intimate, sometimes claustrophobic household. The emotional heart of the novel blooms slowly yet compellingly, leaving me in unexpected tears by the end.
Visit Sara Flannery Murphy's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Possessions.

The Page 69 Test: The Possessions.

--Marshal Zeringue