In fall 1999, he moved with his wife and daughter, to Iowa, where he graduated from the Iowa Writers" hop.
In 1985, Murray received his medical degree. He received a master"s of public health from Johns Hopkins University. He went on to the Centers for Disease Control"s Epidemic Intelligence Service.
He investigated the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
In 2003, he published a collection of short stories. He returned to Australia, and is working on a novel.
This remarkable collection of short stories is written by a medical doctor-turned-author Murray offers dazzling insight into the minds and hearts of men and women whom we may have thought too cerebral to have "real" lives—dedicated physicians and scientists—all living private lives of great complexity.
Murray is adept at holding together a complex narrative and creating characters who reach out emotionally to the reader upon first meeting.
The people in John Murray"s striking new collection of stories are control freaks: whether they are obsessive collectors of butterflies, dedicated trauma surgeons working in dangerous war zones or carpenters making sure that the joins and angles of a house are solid, these characters all see their vocations as a means of containing the chaos and uncertainty around them. They are believers in rules and devotees of order, people scared of the random dangers of the world and even more frightened of their own turbulent emotions. The finest short stories arrived not only in major editions such as The Early Stories: 1953-1975 by John Updike but also in Nadine Gordimer"s Loot.
A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies, by John Murray, and Indelible Acts, by A. L. Kennedy, also proved that the art of compression thrives even in a literary climate of bluster and bloat.