Next ‘Tale’ title earning end-of-year accolades

Tuesday, December 15, 2011
Arts Beat
By Ben Beagle, bbeagle@batavianews.com

The next pick for the “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project has picked up some notable endorsements in recent days.

Yannick Murphy’s “The Call” (Harper Perennial) has been named to several year-end best book lists for 2011.

“The Call” is the 10th selection for the Tale project, which encourages readers in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties to read the same book, discuss it and then attend a series of programs with the author.

Murphy tells the story of a small-town veterinarian and his family as they contend with a hunting accident that badly injures their oldest son. The story is told through a series of call logs written in the vet’s journal.

Michael Lindgren of the Washington Post selected “The Call” as one of the notable fiction works of 2011. Lindgren wrote that “Murphy brings emotional heft, humor and off-hand poetry to this tale of redemption.”

Heller McAlpin writing for NPR earlier this month identified “The Call” as one of the year’s top books. Though it missed making McAlpin’s list of “Five 2011 Books That Stay With You” the novel “continues to enthrall me.”

Of “The Call,” McAlpin wrote of Murphy‘s “charming novel”: “Packed with quirky information about colicky horses and spitting alpacas, it also offers a winning portrait of harried family life, choler and all.

Nancy Pearl, the librarian credited with starting the entire one city-one book movement, included “The Call” as one of her 24 recommended books in the Public Libraries Association webinar, “Nancy Pearl Presents: Books that Make Great Gifts.”

Pearl said “The Call” is the only book she’s read by Murphy, but the book “made her a fan” and was “a total unexpected pleasure.”

Murphy is scheduled to visit Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties from March 22 to 24, 2012, for a series of talks and book signings. Local book discussions will begin in late January.

Look for an excerpt of “The Call” in Jan. 7, 2012, editions of The Daily News.

In November, just days before Tale organizers revealed “The Call” as the 2012 pick, Publishers Weekly named the book to its list of the 10 best fiction works of 2011. “Boldly and playfully told in the form of a rural veterinarian’s bullet-pointed log that shouldn’t be anywhere near as sustainable as it is, Murphy’s novel is effortless and absorbing,” the publication wrote.

Added Mark Rotella, in a blog post of PW’s book picks: The novel is “slim, spare, uniquely structured — and absolutely beautiful.”

Publishers Weekly had given “The Call” a coveted starred review upon its release in August when it said the novel was “a triumph of quiet humor and understated beauty.”

Murphy is scheduled to visit Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties from March 22 to 24, 2012, for a series of talks and book signings. Local book discussions will begin in late January.

Look for an excerpt of “The Call” in Jan. 7, 2012, editions of The Daily News.

Back to 2011 Articles

Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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