Murray Dunlap's work has appeared in about fifty magazines and journals. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, as well as to Best New American Voices once, and his first book, -an early draft of "Bastard Blue" (then called "Alabama") was a finalist for the Maurice Prize in Fiction. "Bastard Blue," was published on June 7th, 2011 (the three year anniversary of a car wreck that very nearly killed him...). The extraordinary individuals Pam Houston, Laura Dave, Michael Knight, and Fred Ashe taught him the art of writing.
About this website: I was very nearly killed on 6-7-08 in a carwreck, so I'm trying very hard to put my life back together. I spent three months in a coma followed by a year in a wheelchair and six months using a walker. But worse, a traumatic brain injury is a complex injury with a broad spectrum of symptoms and disabilities. The impact on a person and his or her family can be devastating. And my memory-loss has to be the most frustrating component of this entire disaster. It is as if I woke up from a dream of a life to a nightmare of a reality. But, as we all do, I keep focused and build a new life...
“Forged with a poet’s attention to cadence and rhythm, a storyteller’s devotion to character, and tension that just keeps ratcheting up, Bastard Blue is finally a love story, between a young man and the place that made him, the southern culture that proves to be both a blessing and a curse. Murray Dunlap is a brave writer, and an honest one; the lives he portrays here are as heart-stoppingly authentic as his prose is dazzlingly beautiful. He serves up everything I want in a story: compassion, humor, substance and style.”
Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness
"Yes, Bastard Blue is a first book but there’s more than promise on display within its pages. This collection introduces us to a fully realized talent. Murray Dunlap’s voice is confident, his characters richly drawn, his sense of place as vivid as you will find in fiction. Sentence for sentence his prose is crisp and direct, edged somehow with both menace and hope. He has a knack for creeping up to sentiment in his stories without crossing the line, leaving only genuine, well-earned emotion on the page. This book is so fine somebody should offer a money back guarantee."
Michael Knight, author of The Typist
"If possible, read Murray Dunlap’s Bastard Blue in a Louis XV style chair, near a subtle fire, or in an Adirondack chair, between peach and dogwood trees. Reading his stories is about as close to having a storyteller there—present, in the room--as I know. This collection is full of heart, mischief, and sly winks. What a grand triumph."
George Singleton, author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie
"We can choose to look at Murray as the poor writer who suffered a traumatic brain injury. We can choose to look at him as someone who lost the kind of life it could kill a person to lose. Or we can choose to look at him as a writer who went through some shit and now has another story to tell."
Kristen Tsetsi, author of Pretty Much True
The Survivor Tree Oklahoma City National Memorial
Mira Bartok, author of The Memory Palace, says, and I agree wholeheartedly: “I accept that this is who I am. I’m not going to be the person I was before. I’m here now and this is how I am now. What am I going to do, not make art? I’d rather jump off a bridge.”
“From the gutter-most to the uttermost, it's awe inspiring and makes it easy for me to come in to work everyday,” says President of Personal Edge Fitness, Garrett Williamson. Murray had to re-learn to walk at Personal Edge... -even after his wheelchair, a walker was required for balance. But these days, he is re-teaching his battered body to jog.