Andre Dubus III Biography
Before finding his calling as a writer, Andre Dubus III (b. Oceanside,
California) 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 (a National Book Award finalist in 1999 and 2003 movie). 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
In 2008 he published The Garden of Last Days; followed by a memoir, Townie, in 2011.
Dubus's work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and the 1985 National Magazine
Award for Fiction. It has also been cited in The One Hundred Most
Distinguished Stories of 1993 and The Best American Short Stories of 1994.
He was one of three finalists for the 1994 Prix de Rome given by the American
Academy of Arts and Letters, and House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for
the 1999 National Book Award for Fiction.
He started his college career at Bradford College (Massachusetts) where his father, author Andre Dubus (d. 1999), taught before studying sociology at the
University of Texas and then taking a Ph.D. in the theory of social change at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which he did not complete.
He lives in Newburyport with his wife, dancer Fontaine Dollas, and their three children. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
This biography was last updated on 03/19/2011.
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