In the blink of an eye the world changes. For Murray Dunlap, his world changed when a car accident left him, after being extracted from his mangled Volkswagen Jetta, in a coma fighting for his life due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
This award-winning writer, five-time marathon runner, and teacher awoke with double vision, amnesia, cognitive challenges and a broken body. Having recreated his life and regained much of his strength Dunlap, nine and a half years later, walked into Weymouth Center with a huge smile as he took his place among the impressive company of Weymouth’s Writers-in-Residence.
Currently Dunlap is putting the final edits to “Proof,” a book of poetry, that will be published on June 17, 2018, the 10th anniversary of the life-changing car wreck that left him in a three-month coma and wheelchair bound.
“It will be published by The Country Bookshop Publishing, a local venture that I am giving all my faith,” he says.
At the November Writer-in-Residence Reading at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, Dunlap will be reading the introduction from his first book, “Bastard Blue,” and then read a few poems from “Proof.”
“Then I'll read an essay that tells the story of my recovery, and finally, close with a few new poems,” Dunlap says.
Dunlap says he is excited to spend time at Weymouth.
“As a brain injury/amnesia survivor, I am unable to work at a regular job (my memory is an impossibly frustrating problem), and the opportunity to work on ‘Proof’ is a welcome change of pace,” he says. “It is a gift to put down all other obligations and just write!”
When he was 34, Dunlap says, “A nice man missed a red light, and every single thing about my life changed. I have a traumatic brain injury. I was a married writer about to start a new career as an English teacher. Our marriage could not survive the confusion and amnesia. When asked, I did not know I was married. After more doctors and therapy than I can remember, I am a writer again, with a new book coming out. I have met, fallen in love with, and married an Episcopal priest. I am not the man I once was. I am better.”
Murray Dunlap’s work has appeared in countless magazines and journals. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, as well as to Best New American Voices. The story “Race Day” was a finalist for the American Fiction Short Story award in 2014. Dunlap has a master’s degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis.
Sponsored by St. Joseph of the Pines, a light wine and cheese reception will follow the reading. This program is free and open to the public.
For more information, call (910) 692-6261 or visit www.weymouthcenter.org and Facebook.