The Caprices

Winner of the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction in 2003, The Caprices is an artful history told across the theater of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. An Anglo-Indian cavalryman, his homeland on the brink of revolution, finds himself in Malaysia fighting to protect British interests. Two soldiers lost in the jungle with a Japanese prisoner confront their prejudices toward each other, and the nature of being American. An island witnesses the passing of history from Magellan to Amelia Earhart to the dropping of the atomic bomb. With exquisite lyricism tempered by a journalist’s eye for detail, Murray shines light on the tangle of battles created by the conflict, the violent reach across generations, and the shattering reverberations in memory. With this collection, Sabina Murray established herself as a passionate and wise voice of literary fiction.

"Murray writes stories of fierce intensity, stories that are evocative, distinct, and haunting."—Claire Messud, New York Review of Books

"Murray reveals war in a way that few writers do, and with such force and beauty and authenticity that I was astonished by this collection...THE CAPRICES equals the achievement of Stephen Crane."—Los Angeles Times

"Stunning...The two notions of war as another planet and of cognitive displacement are rendered with chance timing and shocking force."—The New York Times

"Murray has marshaled searing prose to construct tales of faith, courage, and savagery."—The Seattle Times

"Nine glittering stories...The author renders [WWII's] aftermath in prose both unflinching and majestic."—The Washington Post