The best, and more importantly -the most hopeful, way Dunlap has heard a traumatic brain injury defined was by a doctor explaining to his mother why he struggles: “Imagine that your son’s brain is a bookshelf. Before the wreck, every volume was alphabetized with a card catalog for easy access. Then, in the wreck, all of the books were knocked off the shelf. No longer is there an order, nor a card catalog. It will be years before Murray puts all of the books back into order. Mind you, all of the information is still there; it simply takes Murray an impossibly long time to find it. But eventually, he will put his library back together…”
Proof will be published on 6/7/18 by The Country Bookshop Publishing House
–the 10 year anniversary of Dunlap’s life changing car wreck…
Book launch will be held at The Weymouth Center (6/6 at 6).
Yes, I survived the impossible. But no, I did not do it alone. With God’s grace and the unstoppable love of my wife, I have created a rewarding life from one that had burned to the ground. Thank you, Mary Balfour, for your beautiful heart. This book is for you.
An Episcopal priest, the Rev. Greg Farrand says, “Dunlap’s poetry leads us through the unvarnished reality of human powerlessness and pain to honest spirituality, an optimistic realism born of suffering and faith. His grit inspires the weary heart to rediscover light and hope. His words are the perfect companion for anyone committed to walking the journey with eyes wide open.”
Dr. Fred Ashe says, “These poems–both the story they tell and the simple miraculous fact of their existence–should inspire every reader to do as Murray has done: to defy depression; to seek out a soulmate; to re-discover God.”
Editor Janine Vangool says, “The poems are raw and honest. It is a powerful collection of a journey to a new reality and a reconnection to spirituality. The book is Murray’s proof of his recovery, proof of his faith.”
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Fires is a collection of short stories interspersed with non-fiction about Dunlap’s difficult recovery. Fires was published by The Ardent Writer Press.
“Not only does this blending of fact and fiction make for good reading, plain and simple, but it also presents us with a privileged glimpse of a man in flux, before and after, how he has changed, how he has remained the same, how he’s still finding his way. Ultimately this book will make readers bottomlessly glad that he survived his metaphorical fire– wounded, yes, but wiser and still writing.”
Michael Knight, author of Eveningland
“He is the Murray Dunlap before his life-changing car wreck, and he is the Murray Dunlap after it. Writing about his continued recovery, he sifts and sorts through possible choices, possible selves, always seeking. These stories make the reader glad that he keeps on searching.”
Gin Phillips, author of The Well and the Mine
“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
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Dunlap says, “At 34, a nice man missed a red-light and every single thing about my life changed. I have a traumatic brain injury. I was a married writer about to start a new career as an English teacher. Our marriage could not survive the confusion and amnesia. When asked, I did not know I was married. After more doctors and therapy than I can remember, I am a writer again with a new book coming out called Proof. I have met, fallen in love with, and married an Episcopal priest. I am not the man I once was. I am better. It is not in spite of my suffering that I have found such happiness, it is because of my suffering that I have evolved in such a way to allow it. I may be disabled, but I am very blessed.”
Dunlap’s first book, Bastard Blue:
“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.”
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. “
Michael Knight, author of The Typist
“Reading his stories is about as close to having a storyteller there—present, in the room–as I know.”
George Singleton, author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie
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Photo by Dunlap at Grand Canyon National Park
Dunlap’s photography: National Geographic, ‘Your Shot’
Murray Dunlap on Amazon.
Contact: murraydunlap (at) gmail (dot) com