Synopses & Reviews
From an acclaimed young author of Filipino background comes this history told through individual lives. The Caprices revolves around the Pacific Campaign of World War II. In the wreckage of bombed cities and overcrowded prison camps, there were no winners and no conquerors, and no nation truly triumphed.
Set in Southeast Asia, Australia, and the United States, these stories bring to life ordinary people who must rely on extraordinary measures of faith and imagination. In Order of Precedence, an Indian officer starving to death in a prison camp remembers playing polo during his days in India. In Folly, the last days of Amelia Earhart are imagined as the Japanese prepare for war. In Colossus, an American veteran in his eighties recalls the Japanese invasion of the Philippines and the infamous death march of 1941.
With lyrical prose and searing insight, Sabina Murray brings to light a complex cast of characters. Eloquent, artful, and brimming with raw emotion, these tales capture the gross injustices of war as well as the consequences of survival and the memories that follow. In stories that tell as much about the fluid nature of time as they do about the ghosts that haunt survivors, Sabina Murray establishes herself as a passionate and wise voice.
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction in 2003, The Caprices is a collection of stories artfully told across the theatre of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. An Anglo-Indian cavalryman, his homeland on the brink of revolution, finds himself in Malaysia fighting to protect British interests. Two soldiers lost in the jungle with a Japanese prisoner confront their prejudices toward each other, and the nature of being American. An island witnesses the passing of history from Magellan, to Amelia Earhart, to the dropping of the atomic bomb. With exquisite lyricism tempered by a journalists eye for detail, Murray shines light on the tangle of battles created by that conflict, the violent reach across the generations, the shattering reverberations in memory. With this collection, Sabina Murray established herself as a passionate and wise voice of literary fiction.