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Burns Visiting Scholars


Paul Murray (Fall 2022)

Paul Murray

Paul Murray photoNovelist Paul Murray studied English and Philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin (1997), then took a Master's in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia (2001).

Murray is the acclaimed author of three novels. An Evening of Long Goodbyes (2003) was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Irish Book Award. The bestselling Skippy Dies (2010) was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for various other awards including the Costa Book Awards in the UK, and in the US, the National Book Critics' Circle Award. It was named one of Time magazine's Best Books of 2010. Writing for The New York Times, Marlon James called Skippy Dies “one of the few true masterpieces of this young century.” The Mark and the Void (2015) was winner of the Bollinger Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction and selected again by Time magazine for their Best Books of 2015.

Murray also wrote the screenplay for the comedy feature Metal Heart (2018), which was directed by Hugh O’Conor. His stories have appeared in GrantaThe Paris ReviewThe New York Times and elsewhere. His new novel, The Bee Sting, will be published in August 2023 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

For local interviews with Murray, see the October 27, 2022 issue of the Boston College Chronicle (p. 8) and the November 4, 2022 article in the Boston Irish Reporter.



Writing Workshop: Fiction
ENGL 4579-02
Mondays 02:00pm-04:25pm
Stokes Hall 476S
Enrollment limited to 15

Students in this course will studied and practiced elements of fiction writing: character development, point of view, voice, setting, imagery, sentence design, plot, pacing, and the use of time in a narrative. Enrollment in the course committed students to intensive writing, both in class and out, and full participation in the workshop editing process. Class time was used for discussion of models from an anthology, in-class writing exercises, and group workshop focused on student writing. In addition to the feedback writers received in workshop, they met with the instructor for editing conferences throughout the semester. Students submitted a final portfolio of polished, revised fiction.


Fiction: Second Workshop
ENGL 4580-02
By arrangement

Public Lecture:

How to Write a Novel
Wednesday, November 9, 4:30pm reception, 5:30pm lecture
; free and open to the public
Burns Library, Thompson Room
Click here to watch the recording (closed captioning provided)

Paul Murray read from his forthcoming novel, The Bee Sting, and talk about the highs and lows of the creative process.