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Now You See the Sky

Akashic Books, NY 2018

This memoir about love, motherhood and loss, begins as Catharine H. Murray travels to a small town on the banks of the Mekong River to work in a refugee camp where she discovers a culture steeped in ancient traditions and Buddhist philosophy. She falls in love and marries a local man, and together they raise their three sons in the shelter of his extended family and the close-knit community. When their middle son is diagnosed with cancer at age five, their pursuit of a cure takes them to Seattle, then Bangkok and finally to a remote village in the mountains of Thailand. Now You See the Sky invites the reader to witness the fathomless loss of a child and learn how tragedy can transform us, expand our vision and make us more fully alive.
REVIEWS
“Murray’s lucid meditations and living-in-the-moment attitude—e.g., providing simple pleasures like a favorite food to a sick child—serve as useful reminders to all of us that life is precious and fleeting and must be enjoyed to the fullest. It’s a simple message but an important one. As much a eulogy to Chan as a testament to the joy of life, the book is a heartwarming tale of dealing with life-altering loss…A tender, love-filled story of how one woman dealt with the loss of a young child.”    Kirkus Review, August, 2018
Now You See the Sky is singular, as wise and beautiful and elegiac as it is specific and in-the-moment. It’s a rare memoir in that it gives the impression that time can be stopped. There are images in here, gestures of love, and its hard conversations, that a reader will remember forever.”
–Rick Bass, Winner of the 2017 Story Prize and author of For a Little While
“Now You See the Sky might be set in Thailand but even after only a few pages this gorgeous debut memoir is located firmly in the reader’s heart. I thank and applaud Catharine Murray for the openness, honesty, and beauty with which she tells this ungilded story of a mother’s love for a dying child. An essential recommendation for those living with loss.”
–Suzanne Strempek Shea, author of This Is Paradise: An Irish Mother’s Grief, an African Village’s Plight, and the Medical Clinic That Brought Fresh Hope to Both.

Catharine H. Murray is a writing instructor, author, poet and editor. Murray earned her BA from Harvard University and completed her MFA in creative writing at University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Writing program where she served as Creative Non-fiction Editor for The Stonecoast Review. She lectures and leads workshops on the art of memoir and healing through writing, listening and trauma-resolution. She uses her expertise as an editor, Traumatic Incident Resolution facilitator and long-time peer counselor to create safe yet challenging spaces for students and clients. Venues for her lectures and workshops have included Harvard University, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Maine State Prison, and the University of New England. Her memoir, Now You See the Sky, was selected to launch Akashic books’ Gracie Belle imprint, curated by Ann Hood in 2018 and topped Portland Press Herald’s Creative Non-fiction Bestseller list in January 2019.

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