New York : Vintage Books, 1989, c1988.
Twenty-three stories representing fifteen years of the author's career explore the polarities of violence and tenderness, destruction and salvation, and hedonism and asceticism.
LibraryThing member VeronicaH.
Andre Dubus is my favorite American short story writer. In fact, he is one of my few favorite American writers period. He has the realism of Cheever and Carver, but more warmth than Carver and Hemingway. His prose is understated and never unnecessary; he is one of the few writers I have read where every word in every sentence, and every sentence is not only necessary, but meaningful as well (Tom Robbins and Virginia Woolf are others). He is worth reading for his prose alone. Many, if not most, of his stories take place in the New England area, and as such allow for an interesting portrait of that area. I used to want to live in Maine, before I wanted to live in Savannah, GA, so I have some interest in the area itself. Dubus was apparently born in Louisiana, but spent his later years in Haverhill, Massachusettes. The characters are humanely and fully realized, as if they could be someone you pass on the street. The stories seem like briefly opened windows into the characters' lives. As I said above, Dubus has the realism of Carver and Hemingway, but his prose and his treatment of his characters is much warmer than Hemingway's sparse dialogue or Carver's post-modern coldness. The characters do struggle with how to connect to one another, but it doesn't feel cold, cut off or lifeless; it doesn't feel bleak (even though some of the subject matter certainly is). I don't need warm fuzzies to make me a happy reader, and Dubus offers few of these, but I do need a certain level of humanity to be present in what I read. And it's this, the variety of humanity, that Dubus offers us.
LibraryThing member MistahKurtz
Stories are so different from novels, or supposed to be, and it is rare that you find a writer who masters the genre as well as Dubus. One critic once wrote that it was as if Dubus "were able to breathe light into his stories", if I'm paraphrasing it right, and this is so true: it's a bit like looking at a Rembrandt painting and sensing that light illuminating the darker parts, the parts that had remained unseen until the painter made them visible. And so it is with Dubus perhaps. The people in his stories are hurt, damaged, lonely and resentful. They are also yearning for love or redemption. The genius of Dubus was perhaps that he brought light to them, showing them in their wretched emotional nakedness yet making the reader care for them, and forgive them for their sins. No mean feat. And all that within twenty pages or less.
LibraryThing member petescisco
Dubus is called a "writers writer," but his stories can reach the soul of anyone who opens these pages. His characters and their circumstances are so skillfully and sympathetically rendered that it makes you remember why you love to read and why fiction is so important to understanding the truth of the human heart and mind, not just the facts of human behavior.
LibraryThing member twryan72
Great short stories. The movie In The Bedroom is based on one.
LibraryThing member justagirlwithabook
When I was studying English for undergrad, I had to purchase an excessive number of copies of literature textbooks and anthologies. This was one of them but I loved it a little more than the others because it had to do with Irish lit.
LibraryThing member lalaland
I didn't think I would like this guy since he's part of religion--but his stories are genuinely interesting, heartfelt, and interesting.