Murmur
Laura Mullen

Available October 20, 2006
Official Pub. Date: May 10, 2007
Paperback Poetry/Prose
ISBN-10: 0-9716-8006-x
ISBN-13: 978-0-9716-8006-x

176 Pages, 6 X 8
$15.00 U.S.

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“Laura Mullen floods the confines of the 'detective novel' with all possible events, all murderers and all murdered so that, at any point in the narrative, everything has happened and everyone has done it. Murmur is a further-fiction of displacement and testimony that calls us to the task of deciding not only whether we would or would not do a thing but also whether we even know the difference between the two. A gripping exploration into the brutality of our time that you will not soon forget.”
—Renee Gladman

“Murmur collects an astonishing array of sorties into language as a terra incognita occasioning the uncanny and always troubled confluence of the subject, the bodies it inhabits and the linguistic remainder. Mullen animates narrative at the level of its basic semantic pulse. You’ll meet a talking corpse, a severed head, a heart drawn on an open palm and the gradual destruction of a face. Mullen is as much an expert in the comic and grotesque, as in the restless and anonymous. With a majestically controlled impatience she constructs a textual space both unnerving and familiar. These are splendid texts of the nameless ones (a ‘messenger,’ the ‘caller,’ the ‘reader’) who interrupt and witness the murmur of the linked deictic shadows of a recurring ‘she’ and ‘he.’ Never since Beckett has the unnamed been so chilling precisely because it is unnameable.”
—Steve McCaffery

“Laura Mullen’s Murmur finds the crime in the moments between actions, in language overheard, doubling back, in a style both unnerving and comforting; always midsentence we feel death never dying, ‘real despite or because of the staging,’ and in the background, Duras, Hitchcock—the passions of mundane horrors always ready for our pleasure, discovery. Murmur stays the mind like an unforgettable dream.”
—Thalia Field

“Wildly absorbing, Murmur is a gorgeous genre-bender: detective novel, film noir and memoir (and the autopsy of all three), tricked out with bloody mirrors, blue murder, mutable coffins, loopy interrogations and a dead bombshell's shoes. This is one fabulous book!”
—Rikki Ducornet

Of Laura Mullen’s The Tales of Horror (Kelsey St. Press)

“A brilliant, utterly original, fully realized work that wickedly out-tropes horror’s clichés and devices… . Mullen swoops in and out of metaphor to poke fun at the gothic genre, and celebrate its astonishing versatility.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Mullen’s greatest achievement may be that she has made experimental poetry and the gothic horror novel seem like long lost lovers.”
—The Boston Review

Laura Mullen is on the Creative Writing Program faculty at Louisiana State University. She is the author of four previous books: her first collection of poems, The Surface (1991), was a National Poetry Series selection; her second, After I Was Dead (1999), was selected for the University of Georgia Press Contemporary Poetry Series. The Tales of Horror was published by Kelsey St. Press in 1999. Subject was published by University of California Press in 2005 and her prose has appeared in the anthologies Civil Disobediences: Poetics & Politics in Action (Coffeehouse Press) and Paraspheres (Omnidawn). She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Prize and several MacDowell Colony Fellowships.

 

 

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