Minnesota writer and librarian Maureen Millea Smith, talks about her book of short stories, The Enigma of Iris Murphy (Livingson, 2016).
“Astonishing and original, these stories draw us into the singular world of Omaha public defender Iris Murphy and the interconnected relationships she shares with family, lovers and friends. Characters from all phases of her life serve as disparate lenses through which Iris and her fearless, compassionate vision is revealed. Iris is a force of love and sacrifice, guiding those around her to transform and redeem their lives. Maureen Millea Smith gives us an unforgettable character who forever changes her corner of the world." -- Marianne Herrman, Signaling for Rescue.
“In her collection of linked stories, The Enigma of Iris Murphy, winner of the Tartt First Fiction Award, Edina author Maureen Millea Smith unpacks the enigma that is Iris by delving into the lives and the psyches of her friends, family members and lovers. The title story, for example, introduces us to Iris's confidant Paul Simmons, a gay recovering alcoholic ‘shoved out of the closet' by his ex-wife, newly in love with a man from his investment club. 'Life would have been far easier for him if he had married and divorced Iris Murphy,' he reflects over dinner, although he is not blind to her more irritating qualities. (‘It is the Irish in Iris that tends to make her a good girl martyr,' he observes, both annoyed and impressed.)" -- Rachel Sugar, Minneapolis Star Tribune