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A Memoir

Dubus, Andre, 1959-

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
After their parents divorce in the 1970's, 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.

Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393064667
Branch Call Number: 813.54 D821t
PS3554.U2652 Z46 2011
Characteristics: 387 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Sep 02, 2014
  • pugterranian rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Be forewarned: this is a brutal and bleak memoir, full of violence, loneliness and heartbreak. Yet it is also a thing of beauty, a straightforward and unadorned memoir in which the young Dubus, violently bullied as a child, transforms himself into a fighter, protector and, ultimately, a bully himself. Dubus is searlingly honest in the telling of his story, and in the process creates a very moving portrait of male vulnerability. If you enjoyed his great House of Sand and Fog, you will appreciate going deeper into Dubus’ world.

Jun 15, 2014
  • wongsokguan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Good reading.

Mar 03, 2014
  • JasonATait rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It's a book you'll think about for weeks after reading it. I highly recommend it for newish fathers like me. Overall theme from my view: dads, make good choices.

Apr 02, 2011


"In his powerful debut memoir, novelist Dubus charts the violent arc of his early manhood. Following his parents' divorce, he grappled with the challenges and temptations on the streets of a series of blue-collar Massachusetts towns. Well into his 20s, he found the visceral allure of street fighting and general violence irresistible, but he eventually channeled his energies into boxing and, finally, a successful writing career. Dubus' novelistic storytelling combines with insightful introspection and striking, blunt prose, and the author's father, also a writer, stands out as a complex influence on his son's life, alternately distant, compassionate and vexing."
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Mar 23, 2011
  • thanschman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the absolute most incredible, gifted, and "real" writers I have ever read. Amazing. This guy is a true inspiration to all aspiring writers out there. I can't wait to read his earlier work since I started with his most recent work and will now work backwards.


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