Tim Murphy-Correspondents

Tim Murphy


Tim Murphy is the author of Christodora, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal. He has reported on HIV/AIDS for twenty years, for such publications as POZ Magazine, where he was an editor and staff writer, Out, Advocate, and New York. He was born into an Irish-Lebanese family north of Boston and now lives in Brooklyn and spends as much time as possible in Beirut.


The American Dream: Three Novels

There are many “American” stories. Snowden Wright's America Pop is an epic saga that moves from Mississippi to Paris to New York and back again, following the family, ambition, passion, and tragedy that brings to life one unforgettable Southern dynasty. Jason Allen's The East End is an atmospheric debut novel of family secrets and scandal, of love and heartbreak, of working class struggle versus the privileges of the super wealthy, all set in the Hamptons. And Tim Murphy's The Correspondents is an enthralling and fast-moving epic of two families—one from New England, the other from the Middle East—and a haunting portrait of the best and worst sides of America. Join these three authors as they discuss the role of America in the dreams of their characters

Moderator: Chris Swann

Christopher Swann is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He earned a B.A. in English from Washington and Lee University, an M.A. in English and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Georgia State University. His debut novel Shadow of the Lions was a finalist for both the 2018 Townsend Prize for Fiction and a 2018 Georgia Author of the Year award and was one of Southern Living’s Best Southern Books of 2017. He lives with his wife and two sons in Atlanta, where he is the English department chair at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.

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The world is Rita Khoury’s oyster. The bright and driven daughter of a Boston-area Irish-Arab family that has risen over the generations from poor immigrants to part of the coastal elite, Rita grows up in a 1980s cultural mishmash. The unconventional yet close-knit family bonds over summers at the beach, wedding line-dances, and a shared obsession with the Red Sox. Rita charts herself an ambitious path through Harvard to one of the best newspapers in the country. She is posted in cosmopolitan Beirut and dates a handsome Palestinian would-be activist. But when she is assigned to cover the America-led invasion of Baghdad in 2003, she finds herself unprepared for the war zone. Her lifeline is her interpreter and fixer Nabil al-Jumaili, an equally restless young man whose dreams have been restricted by life in a deteriorating dictatorship, not to mention his own seemingly impossible desires. As the war tears Iraq apart, personal betrayal and the horrors of conflict force Rita and Nabil out of the country and into twisting, uncertain fates. What lies in wait will upend their lives forever, shattering their own notions of what they’re entitled to in a grossly unjust world.

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