Andre Dubus biography

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Andre Dubus
Photo credit: Marion Ettlinger

Andre Dubus

How to pronounce Andre Dubus: ahn-dray duh-BYOOSE (1st syllable of Andre rhymes with barn, last of Dubus rhymes with use)

Andre Dubus Biography

Andre Dubus, born in Louisiana to a Catholic family, studied journalism and English at McNeese State College. He spent six years in the Marine Corps, during which he married his first wife and had his first four children, including Andre Dubus III. After leaving the Marines he studied at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. As an ex-Marine turned writer, Dubus (pronounced duh-byoose) had a tough exterior and a tender heart - something he became known for in his work, which often deals with pain, tragedy, violence, and flawed characters with astonishing compassion and kindness. He wrote a few novellas and one novel, Lieutenant (1967), but was mostly devoted to the short story, a form in which he is considered one of the masters. As a devout Catholic throughout his life, his faith sometimes appeared explicitly in his writing and other times informed his work through themes of redemption and grace.

On an evening in 1986, Dubus stopped at a roadside to help a brother and sister injured in an accident. As he did, an oncoming car hit them, killing the brother and crushing Dubus's legs. The sister was saved because Dubus pushed her out of the way of the car. Dubus's left leg was amputated above the knee, and he lost the use of his right leg. After several years of physical therapy, he was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, an experience he wrote about in the collection of essays, Meditations from a Moveable Chair. His other works include Adultery and Other Choices, The Times Are Never So Bad, Dancing After Hours, and Broken Vessels. He was awarded the PEN/Malamud, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Jean Stein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also received Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, and nominations for a National Book Critics' Circle Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. Several of his stories and novellas have been adapted into films, including In the Bedroom (based on "Killings") and We Don't Live Here Anymore (based on "We Don't Live Here Anymore" and "Adultery").

This biography was last updated on 03/19/2011.

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Meditations From  A Movable Chair jacket
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