Mark May 25th on your calendar


I’m doing an author talk at the Prescott Public Library next Saturday May 25th. That’s Prescott, Ontario. Not the other Prescott in Arizona. Start time is 1:30pm. I’ll speak for about 20 minutes, and will do two readings from A Sunny Place for Shady People, followed by Q&A and signing. I’ll have copies of the book available on site if you’d like to buy one (or three) directly from me. The...

Talking Malta with Jeremy Bassetti


Did you miss our live launch conversation for A Sunny Place for Shady People? I know the start time didn’t fit everyone’s schedule. It was 1am here in Berlin — but I’m far sharper past midnight than I am in the morning, so I didn’t mind. I spoke with Jeremy Bassetti, host of the excellent Travel Writing World podcast, about:  why I moved to a country I’d never been to the history of this...

I hope you’ll join me on Tuesday


Tuesday April 23 is the official publication day for my new book A Sunny Place for Shady People. It’s been a long haul from first draft to finished volume. I must have rewritten it seven or eight times as the story I set out to tell morphed into the story I had to write.  I hope you’ll join me on Zoom for the online launch. I’ll be talking with Jeremy Bassetti, host of the excellent Travel...

Ryan Murdock in conversation with Caroline Muscat


I want to give you a rare behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like being an investigative journalist in Malta after the car bomb assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.  And so I reached out to my friend Caroline Muscat, founder and editor-in-chief of The Shift, the Maltese investigative news portal where I was a weekly columnist for over four years. If you’ve read my new book A Sunny Place...

A sunny place for shady people


A Sunny Place for Shady People by Ryan Murdock My new book is now available for your reading pleasure. It’s called A Sunny Place for Shady People, and it’s about six years I spent living on the island of Malta. I went there because I wanted to write an island book inspired by Lawrence Durrell — and there was light and laughter in those early years. But then there was an election, and everything...

Lazarus in the gossip panopticon


I drove back to the barbershop in Zejtun a month after we left the village. The door rattled aside on its warped metal track. The chihuahua behind the counter barked and glared. An old lady reclined in a chair like the sheeted dead.  I smiled and said hello to the receptionist, and she smiled too. But when the barber turned to look at me, he staggered back a step and froze.  The smile...

It took two years to get a smile 


I noticed the old lady across the street watching me all summer when I slipped outside at 2am to put out the trash before bed.  There would be a movement behind the slats of lit shutters and the window would open very slowly. It happened more often when the summer heat was at its worst.  Sometimes a full moon shone down on our alley, and I would stop for a moment to look at it because I...

Festivals and autumn storms


Dust crusted summer absent of rain By the end of summer in an island without rain, the roads were crusted with a carapace of filth.  Trees were burned brown. What grass there was had withered to straw. Only the prickly pear and olives retained a pale green.  Old ladies polished their front doors at dawn with buckets and rags, to no avail. The island thirsted for cleansing rain, as...

Visitors arrived that summer


Grand Harbour view from Valletta I didn’t suffer the entire time Tomoko was abroad because my old friend Zachary Peoples stopped by with his new wife on a round-the-world honeymoon.  I’d met Zack at a border crossing in Central America in my late twenties. We traveled together for a while, and he became a main character in my book Vagabond Dreams. We’d last crossed paths in Tokyo a decade...

Fending for myself in the village


From the vegetable vendor around the corner My peaceful reading and writing routine was disrupted that autumn when my wife decided to take a trip home.  “I’ll explain the shops to you,” she said before we left for the airport.  “How hard can it be to buy food?” “You’d be surprised. So, there’s the food you buy from vendors, and the food you buy in shops…” I knew about the bread man. He...


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