A Carnivore's Inquiry: A Novel

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc., Dec 1, 2007 - Fiction - 304 pages
3 Reviews
Sabina Murray's first book since she won the PEN/Faulkner Award for The Caprices seduces with its dark delight in her taboo subject.
When we meet Katherine, the winning-and rather disturbing-twenty-three-year-old narrator, she has just left Italy and arrived in New York City, but what has propelled her there is a mystery. She soon strikes up an affair with a middle-aged Russian émigré novelist she meets on the subway, and almost immediately moves into his apartment. Katherine's occasional allusions to a frighteningly eccentric mother and tyrannical father suggest a somberness at the center of her otherwise flippant and sardonic demeanor. Soon restless, she begins journeying across the continent, trailed, everywhere she goes, by a string of murders. As the ritualistic killings begin to pile up, Katherine takes to meditating on cannibalism in literature, art, and history. The story races toward a hair-raising conclusion, while Katherine and the reader close in on the reasons for both her and her mother's fascination with aberrant, violent behavior.
A brilliantly subtle commentary on twenty-first-century consumerism and Western culture's obsession with new frontiers, A Carnivore's Inquiry is an unsettling exploration of the questionable appetites that lurk beneath the veneer of civilization.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Another tedious road journey across America as a tiresome narrator searches for spiritual nourishment.A sinking feeling sets in when Katherine, narrator, looks down the American highway and sees ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TheBookLady - LibraryThing

Despite the fact that the topic of Sabina Murray's novel is both gruesome and hard to digest (no pun intended), her writing is undeniably impressive. She neatly weaves together a suspenseful mystery ... Read full review


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About the author (2007)

Sabina Murray was born in 1968 and grew up in Australia and the Philippines. The Caprices, a collection of short stories based on the Pacific Campaign of World War II, published by Houghton Mifflin, was the winner of the PEN/Faulkner award in 2003. She is the author of the novel Slow Burn. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Ontario Review, New England Review, and other magazines. She is the writer of the screenplay for the forthcoming film Beautiful Country, produced by Terence Malick and starring Nick Nolte, Tim Roth and Bai Ling. She completed her Master of Arts as a James A. Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin and also received a James A. Michener Fellowship to complete a post-graduate writing project. She is a former Bunting Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and a recipient of a major grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Murray has served as the Roger Murray Writer in Residence at Phillips Academy Andover and is currently a part of the MFA faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Her husband is the poet, John Hennessy and they have two children.

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