Duncan Murrell

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North Carolina

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Duncan Murrell is a writer and journalist from North Carolina. He is a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine and The Normal School. His work has also appeared in Poets & Writers, The Oxford American, Southern Cultures, and many other publications. He has been a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. In 2006 he spent eight months living in New Orleans while writing “In The Year of the Storm,” a long work that appeared in the July 2007 issue of Harper’s Magazine, and prompted a Chicago Tribune critic to write, “Speaking of words, few essayists put them together any better … crucial to an understanding of what catastrophe leaves in its tumbling wake, as seen through one man’s tormented consciousness.”

Murrell has written about termites, vultures, and hogs; he’s written profiles of national politicians and old tobacco magnates; and he’s written extensively on the economics and social life of small towns. He’s currently at work on a book about transformation and immigration in the rural South, to be excerpted soon in Harper’s Magazine. Before writing full-time, Murrell was an editor at Algonquin Books, where he acquired and edited several national bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction. He also has worked as a newspaper writer in Alabama and Washington D.C. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University, and has been a resident at Yaddo.

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  1. Center for Documentary Studies
  2. BTG Productions
  3. Marina Zurkow