Black Cat
Black Cat
Black Cat

Muckross Abbey and Other Stories

by Sabina Murray

From the PEN/Faulkner award winning pioneer of “ironic gothic” (Washington Post) comes a wry and spooky set of ghost stories, replete with original illustrations

  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Page Count 256
  • Publication Date March 21, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5748-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00
  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Publication Date March 21, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-5749-2
  • US List Price $17.00

Since her acclaimed novel A Carnivore’s Inquiry, Sabina Murray has been celebrated for her mastery of the gothic. Now in Muckross Abbey and Other Stories, she returns to the genre, bringing readers to haunted sites from a West Australian convent school to the moors of England to the shores of Cape Cod in ten strange tales that are layered, meta, and unforgettable.

A twisted recasting of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, an actor who dies for his art only to haunt his mother’s house, the titular “Muckross Abbey,” an Irish chieftain burial site cursed by the specter of a flesh-eating groom— in this collection Murray gives us painters, writers, historians, and nuns all confronting the otherworldly in fantastically creepy ways. With notes of Wharton and James, Stoker and Shelley, now drawn into the present, these macabre stories are sure to captivate and chill.

Praise for Muckross Abbey and Other Stories:

“I binge-read this book, savoring the gothic creepiness at the heart of each tale. Packed with compelling, nuanced lives and the deaths that haunt them, each story is a séance—an invitation for unsettled spirits to let their presence be known, ‘desperate for someone to supply the narrative.’ Murray supplies it with great style and an uncanny knowingness, leaving room for our imagination to fill in the suggestive spaces with our own dark dread.”—Mona Awad, author of Bunny

Praise for The Human Zoo:

“Fascinating… Murray’s sense of place is vigorously vivid… Let me just say that instabilities — of tone, of content, of sympathies, of perspective — can be cardinal assets in provocative fiction. In The Human Zoo, Murray wields those instabilities with a keen, riveting instinct.”Seattle Times

“Immediately absorbing and atmospheric… Murray vaults the reader into a decadent world facing the stark reality of moral failure.”Observer

“Sabina Murray’s smart, idea-packed story grapples with corruption, identity, and loyalty, building to a searing climax.”Christian Science Monitor

“A sometimes blistering, sometimes sardonic, always enlightening and suspenseful contemporary tale.”Literary Hub

“Sabina Murray has built a lofty career on her ability to craft intricately layered, thought-provoking fiction: what she initially presents as straightforward storytelling is intensified with piercing cultural, sociopolitical and historical nuances that encourage greater interaction for deeper satisfaction…An exhilarating literary experience.”Shelf Awareness

“One of the most interesting novels I’ve read in years, Murray is at the height of her powers, offering us a breathtaking, funny, terrifying oracle.”—Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

“Murray may well be the most fearless and gloriously subversive novelist we have.”—Valerie Martin, author of Property

The Human Zoo unfolds like the best of stories—one compelling detail following the next until an entire world emerges, full of revelations and aching truths. Murray has given us a powerful page-turner full of wry humor and shattering wisdom about love, family, the meaning of home, and history.”—Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King

Praise for A Carnivore’s Inquiry:

“The disembodied evil that comes from nowhere in particular but creeps into every corner of a person’s life is the special province of the psychological suspense novel. Sabina Murray gives the form a dazzling twist in her debut novel, A Carnivore’s Inquiry, which is narrated by a young woman obsessed with the notion of cannibalism. . . . That we trail after this wolfish character as doggedly as her doomed lovers has to do with Murray’s mesmerizing voice, which is lovely, literate and deeply unnerving on the subject of human hunger.”—New York Times Book Review

“Elegantly written… The characters are weird, funny, and original; every sentence crackles, and the dialogue defines punchy. PEN/Faulkner winner Murray is a big talent.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A cracklingly original, brilliantly conceived modern Gothic. . . . Murray has both a rare willingness to trust our intelligence and an effortless narrative control. As the story builds like a tropical storm, irresistible forces whirling around a still center, we explore varieties of appetite and hunger, the relationship between civilization and taboo, the freedom and loneliness of wolves, explorers, criminals, outsiders. The elegantly thrilling, surprisingly poignant implications resonate long after the final page.”Elle

“Murray not only creates a magnetic, amoral and utterly memorable heroine, she invents a whole new genre: ironic gothic.”—Washington Post

“Though A Carnivore’s Inquiry has any number of scary (not to mention stomach-churning) moments, the novel’s real appeal lies in Katherine’s erudite, mordant humor . . . Beneath both the humor and the horror lies a scathing indictment of American values. Katherine, with her ceaseless hunger, serves as a gorgeous, freaky metaphor for that clichéd American Dream of having it all.”—Joanna Rakoff, Time Out New York

“Compelling, maddening, hilarious . . . remarkable.”—Detroit Free Press

“A gothic triumph.”Seattle Times & Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“With echoes of both Poe and Patrick McGrath pervading her work, Murray essays to craft a psychologically credible portrait of mental illness.”—Bookforum