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Correspondents - cover

Correspondents

Tim Murphy

Publisher: Grove Press

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Summary

Tim Murphy’s sophomore novel, Correspondents moves from suburban Boston to the Middle East to tell the remarkable and poignant story of the youngest child of a sprawling Irish-Lebanese family, a journalist who is posted to Baghdad during the Iraq War, and the young interpreter who befriends her.

Correspondents describes an America where immigrants are the foundation of the country and is closely based on Murphy’s own Irish-Lebanese family. His depiction of Irish immigrants is reminiscent of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn, and his deft weaving of a multigenerational story of immigrants, settlers, and refugees evokes Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex or Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers. 

Murphy’s previous book, Christodora, was longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and widely praised by critics. In the Washington Post, Garth Greenwell praised it as “[A] rich, complicated story.” The New York Times called it “[A] thrillingly accomplished novel . . . Christodora sometimes seems the product of spirit possession.” It was named an Indie Next Pick as well as a Best Book of the Year by the Guardian and Amazon. 

Christodora was optioned by Paramount TV for a limited TV series directed by Ira Sachs and produced by Cary Fukunaga, who produced the award-winning Beasts of No Nation and directed True Detective and Jane Eyre. 

Correspondents candidly discusses the devastation wrought by gun violence and white supremacy in this country. Murphy is a leader of Gays against Guns, which advocates for the safety of all individuals, particularly those most vulnerable to gun violence, and participates in frequent protests and actions since their first appearance in the New York City Pride Parade in June 2016. 

Readers of Khaled Hosseini will find themselves entranced by Murphy’s rendering of the Middle East in the early days of the Iraq invasion. From Baghdad to Beirut to Damascus, Murphy has evoked in vivid detail the terror of living in a war zone.

Murphy’s brilliant depiction of war correspondents sheds light on the conflicts faced by the mainstream American media during this period: in a time of unbelievable upheaval, how do you find and report on the truth when it is constantly changing, and whose truth do you have the responsibility to share?

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