The Next Chapter·Bedside Books

Why Paul Murphy from Wintersleep loved reading The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson

When Wintersleep isn't touring across Canada, Murphy is an avid reader. Find out why he enjoyed this Denis Johnson short story collection.
Wintersleep is a Canadian indie rock band from Halifax, Nova Scotia. (Random House, Norman Wong)
Listen1:17

Paul Murphy is the lead of the Halifax-based indie rock band Wintersleep. The Juno Award-winning band's latest album, due out this month, is their seventh full-length record and is titled In the Land Of.

When Wintersleep isn't touring across Canada, Murphy is an avid reader. A book that he recently read and loved is the story collection The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson.

"The book I'm reading right now is The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson. You can't have a better title than that. I do judge books by covers and it does look incredible. It's kind of a memoir from somebody who doesn't really understand the reason for life. In his older years, he's trying to put together some kind of thread, but it's going off and a lot of different directions.

"It's beautiful and poetically written with great sense of humour to it. But there are dark themes. It's about coming to terms with mortality. My favourite kind of books are ones that make you want to write things. There's just something unique about the rhythm of it and kind of the urgency of it."

Watch Wintersleep perform Surrender on CBC's First Play Live

Wintersleep perform 'Surrender' for CBC Music's First Play Live. 4:19

Paul Murphy's comments have been edited for length and clarity. 

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