Sunday, July 5, 2015

Eva Murray

Eva Murray moved to Matinicus Island in 1987 expecting to serve for one year as the island's kindergarten-to-8th grade one-room school teacher. Instead of moving on afterward, she married and has been a full-time and year-round island resident for the past 28 years. Eva and her husband Paul, the island electrician, raised their two children on Matinicus (both have now graduated from college).

For roughly 15 years Eva has been a regular columnist for a number of Maine newspapers and magazines. Her first book, Well Out to Sea—Year-round on Matinicus Island, is a collection of essays describing the details of offshore life. Some of the short pieces are touching, many are irreverent, and all provide insight into “how things really work” on a remote Maine island.

Eva’s second book, Island Schoolhouse—One room for all takes the reader inside Maine’s remaining public one-room elementary schools, introducing teachers, students and communities for whom one-room school is an ordinary, 21st-century reality.

In Island Birthday, Eva’s first book for children, readers sense the exasperation all islanders feel when bad weather interferes with transportation, as it so often does! Riley, a boy of about eight, waits a bit impatiently for his birthday presents which must be delivered by airplane across the water. As he visits with his hardworking neighbors—a lobster boat crew, a working artist, the postal clerk, the telephone man, etc.-- he sees that everybody is waiting for something, and the inconveniences of island life are made up for by close friendships and a supportive community.

In addition to working as a freelance writer Eva Murray is an emergency medical technician, wilderness first responder, CPR instructor and SAR volunteer; she runs Matinicus Island’s solid waste and recycling program; she operates an island bakery each summer, and she is finishing work on a graduate certificate in Gifted and Talented Education. She is also a student pilot.

Come meet Eva Murray and many other Maine authors at Books in Boothbay on July 11!

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