by Raymond Devine
Earlier this year, Lucy Miller Murray ’61 had her first novel published, a story of love and tragedy in which a couple tries to maintain their relationship after the husband is disfigured in an accident.
The book, “Faces: A Novel,” published in January 2020 by Dorrance Publishing Co., is not Murray’s first work of fiction, although it is her debut novel. Her earlier works of fiction have been published in Phase Magazine as well as Prism International, Western Canada’s foremost literary magazine. Her work has received multiple awards, including one from WITF, a national public radio station, and a group of five noted composers once set her poetry to music, which was performed at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York.
“The theme here is the reaction people have to major change,” Murray said of her novel, which is receiving praise from reviewers.
Present in the novel is the couple’s shared love of music, a subject that derives from Murray’s career in the music world. For a number of years, she has been writing liner notes for symphonic programs, including ones for Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center.
Over the years, Murray’s liner notes have appeared in Ying Quartet’s Grammy-nominated “Tchaikovsky Telarc” and Maria Bachmann’s “The Red Violin,” among others. She has also authored a book, “Chamber Music: An Extensive Guide for Listeners,” published in 2015. Moreover, she has written articles on music for numerous publications, such as Chamber Music, Philadelphia Music Makers, and New Music Box.
Murray started playing the piano at the age of 6, and she’s been writing poetry and fiction since high school. She often felt, she said, as if she were “at war with her desire to both write and play music.”
Murray graduated from the College with a bachelor’s degree in English. She said she had “wonderful professors at the College,” which she credits with helping her to think critically. After graduation, she received a master’s degree at Temple University.
For years, Miller had the habit of playing the piano for one hour every day. But after COVID-19 changed the topography of the world, she now finds herself playing for longer than that. The works she finds herself playing, she added, “seem to address the feelings of our times.”
“Like most people, I am stunned at what is happening in our so-called sophisticated world,” she said. “We can fly to the moon, but we can’t immediately control a deadly virus. It is a lesson to be learned.”
To purchase a copy of “Faces: A Novel,” please visit www.amazon.com/Faces-Novel-Lucy-Miller-Murray-ebook/dp/B0846FHCQN.