Andre Dubus III, author of the National Book Award–nominated House of Sand and Fog and The Garden of Last Days, 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 crime. To protect himself and those he loved from street violence, Andre learned to use his fists so well that he was even scared of himself. He was on a fast track to getting killed—or killing someone else—or to beatings-for-pay as a boxer.
Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds couldn’t have been more stark—or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by becoming a writer himself could Andre begin to bridge the abyss and save himself. His memoir is a riveting, visceral, profound meditation on physical violence and the failures and triumphs of love.
Andre Dubus III is
the author of the highly acclaimed, award-winning memoir Townie, a New York Times
bestseller, and of the #1 New York Times bestseller
House of Sand and Fog. Townie made the list of the best books
of 2011 for Esquire, Salon, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble,
Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Washington
Examiner, and AudioFile. House of Sand and Fog, the basis for an
Academy Award–nominated motion picture, was a fiction finalist for the National
Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Book Sense Book of the Year,
and an Oprah Book Club selection. His other works include a collection of short
fiction, The Cage Keeper and Other
Stories, and the novels Bluesman
and The Garden of Last Days. His work
has been included in The Best American
Essays of 1994 and The Best Spiritual
Writing of 1999. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pushcart
Prize, the National Magazine Award for fiction, and was a finalist for the Rome
Prize Fellowship from the Academy of Arts and Letters. A member of PEN American
Center, Dubus has served as a panelist for the National Book Foundation and the
National Endowment for the Arts, has taught writing at Harvard, Tufts, and
Emerson College, and is currently a full-time faculty member at the University of
Massachusetts, Lowell. He is married to the performer Fontaine Dollas Dubus. They
live in Massachusetts with their three children.