Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III
Before finding his calling as a writer, Andre Dubus III worked for brief stints as a bounty hunter, private investigator, carpenter, bartender, actor, and teacher. His first book, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, was published in 1989, followed in 1993 by his first novel, Bluesman. For the next few years, he taught and did odd jobs as a carpenter while working on House of Sand and Fog. Much of the book was written in his car, which he often parked at a local cemetery in search of quiet and solitude. His characters were inspired by two people whose predicaments had stuck in his mind for years: a woman he read about in the newspaper who was wrongly evicted from her house and forced to live in her car, and a college friend's father, who had been a colonel in the Iranian air force and could only find menial jobs after fleeing to the United States.
Andre Dubus III is the author of six books: The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times "Editors Choice". It was named on many “Top Non-fiction Books of 2011” lists, including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Esquire magazine. His work has been included in The Best American Essays of 1994 and The Best Spiritual Writing of 1999, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His new book, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013 and has been listed as a New York Times “Notable Book”, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”. Mr. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, Two Pushcart Prizes, and he is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages.
Andre Dubus III is the son of Andre Dubus, a widely recognized master of short fiction who died in 1999. He is currently a professor at UMass Lowell. He lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with his wife, dancer/choreographer Fontaine Dollas, and their three children.
An acclaimed novelist reflects on his violent past and a lifestyle that threatened to destroy him—until he was saved by writing.
After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. To protect himself and those he loved, Andre started pumping iron and learned to use his fists so well that he became the kind of man who could send others to the hospital with one punch, and did. Irresistibly drawn to stand up for the underdog, he was on a fast track to getting killed—or killing someone else.
Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of “townies” and the ambitions of well-fed students debating books and ideas, couldn’t have been more stark or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by finally putting pen to paper himself did young Andre come into his own, discovering the power of empathy in channeling the stories of others—and ultimately bridging the rift between his father and himself.
An unforgettable book, Townie is a riveting and profound meditation on physical violence and the failures and triumphs of love.