Short Take: Thomas Murphy – Roger Rosenblatt

Rosenblatt has garnered many fans of his delicate insightful nonfiction since his breakout memoir, Making Toast in 2010. In this outing he returns to fiction with a wry, poignant rumination on love and human attachment told by an aging poet with memory loss who falls in love with the wife of an acquaintance.

 It’s scheduled for both a review and feature in the NYTBR as well as a Washington Post and coverage in Vanity Fair.

“Rosenblatt tackles memory loss with a fictional portrait of a septuagenarian poet whose “wonderful brain” is “ebbing a bit.” Thomas Murphy jokes, drinks, sings oldies, and wonders what he’ll be doing the rest of his life in a funny, touching narrative….Daughter Maire drags him to a doctor after he sets off fire alarms when he forgets eggs boiling on the stove….He wisecracks his way through the medical examination, fooling no one…. Murph’s rambling monologue reveals discernment and feeling, as a favorite George Eliot quote puts it, especially in riffs on poetry, regret, cooking, and the upside of forgetting. Smart as a whip, dumb as a post, and frail as pebbles, forgetful Murph proves a memorable hero as he faces his last years as though he won’t crash if he goes full tilt.”
Publishers Weekly

 “An elderly poet delivers a chatty, comic monologue on sex, death, life, and getting the girl.”
Kirkus Reviews

Thomas Murphy (9780062394569) by Roger Rosenblatt. $24.99 hardcover. 1/19/16 on sale.

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