Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Freebie: Tales of the New World by Sabina Murray

Congratulations to Glen Chamberlain, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: Men in the Making by Bruce Machart.

This week's book giveaway is the new collection of short stories by Sabina Murray, Tales of the New World.  The celebrated author of A Carnivore's Inquiry and The Caprices, Murray takes a fresh look at some pivotal moments in history: namely, the discovery of new worlds (both physical and spiritual/cultural).  Here's the jacket copy for Tales of the New World:
In her first collection of stories since her PEN/Faulkner-winningThe Caprices, Sabina Murray confronts the manipulation, compassion, ambition, and controversy surrounding some of the most intrepid and sadistic pioneers of the last four millennia. Iconic explorers and settlers are made intimately human as they plow through the un-navigated 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 cannot save Magellan from his own greed. Balboa’s peek at the South Sea may never have happened if it wasn’t for his loyal and vicious dog, Leonico, and an 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.

Is your curiosity piqued and lured?  Well then, let me seal the deal for you.  Here are the opening lines to the book's first story, "Fish":
The light filters through the window into the still, dark air. In the whirling dust, Mary can make out the fairies, winking, disappearing, toes pointed and wings tensed. She hears them whispering her name, tormenting her. "Mary, Mary," they say, and then are gone. There is nothing left to break the silence but the sluggish tick from the thick hall clock, its pendulum swung in lethargy, like a fat man swinging his pocket watch: and both pass time. Mother has bricked all the windows over but this one and the house presents its sleeping face to the street, where heels click by and dogs raise their legs to the rusted wrought-iron fence. Women's rustling skirts drag on the uneven paving stones and thieves, or so Mother says, stand in shadow stropping their knives, sucking on their yellow teeth, waiting and waiting for something worthwhile to come within arm's reach.

If you'd like to put Tales of the New World within your reach, all you have to do is answer this question to be entered in the contest:

What was the name of the film Murray wrote which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award?  (Explore the author's website to find the answer)

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Nov. 3--at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Nov. 4.

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