Bastard Blue:

Bastard Blue and What Doesn't Kill You...

'Bastard Blue' was first called 'Alabama' and was a finalist for the Maurice Prize for fiction at U.C. Davis. It has been reworked into 'Bastard Blue' and is my first book. My next book is also a collection of stories.  It will be called 'Fires.' 

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. "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.

“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   

Borrowed Steel
I’m not this strong. I’m just not.
If God hadn’t loaned me a suit of armor, I would have been crushed.
I am alive because of borrowed steel.