Andre Dubus III biography

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Andre Dubus III
Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Andre Dubus III

How to pronounce Andre Dubus III: ahn-dray duh-BYOOSE (last syllable rhymes with use)

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 United States.

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.

Andre Dubus III's website

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Interview

A thoroughly entertaining interview with Andre Dubus III as he shares a variety of anecdotal stories describing the people and events that influenced his writing

What was it like growing up in your household, with a writer for a father?
Well, like most kids, I didn't pay attention to what my dad did, I just wasn't interested. My dad and Mom divorced when I was around 10, and I didn't live with him after that, though he was close by and we saw each other weekly. I wasn't really aware that he was a writer; I didn't start reading his writing until I was about 15. It occurred to me then that my dad was kind of special; he's still one of my favorite writers. I grew up in a pretty working-class neighborhood, and my friends didn't have a lot of books in their houses, though I did. And though I didn't pick up a lot of those books off of the shelf, I grew up knowing that it was part of a full life.

Is being a writer something that you always aspired to, or did you have an epiphany at some point in your life?
I did have an epiphany, I actually aspired to do something quite different. I got a degree in sociology, didn't read much fiction in college, and I was a pretty political, left-wing, type of guy. I wanted to do some kind of work in social change and make things better for the poor man, and I was very romantic and passionate about it. I was a Ph.D. candidate in ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Andre Dubus III at BookBrowse
Dirty Love jacket Townie jacket The Garden of Last Days jacket House of Sand and Fog jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Andre Dubus III but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

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    Monica Ali is the daughter of English and Bangladeshi parents.

    She came to England at the age of three, and her first home was Bolton in Greater Manchester. Ali later studied at Oxford University.

    Her first novel, Brick ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    House of Sand and Fog

    Try:
    In the Kitchen
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  • Rick Bragg

    Rick Bragg

    Rick Bragg (born 1959) was born in the small city of Piedmont in northeastern Alabama and grew up in the community of Possum Trot near Jacksonville. He worked at several newspapers before joining the New York Times in 1994. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Townie

    Try:
    Ava's Man
    by Rick Bragg

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