In this “page-turner with a beating heart” (Boston Globe), a recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck struggles to hold on to her home in California. But this becomes contested territory when a recent immigrant from the Middle East—a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force—becomes determined to restore his family’s dignity through buying the house. When the woman’s lover, a married cop, intervenes, he goes to extremes to win her love. Andre Dubus III’s unforgettable characters—people with ordinary flaws, looking for a small piece of ground to stand on—careen toward inevitable conflict. An “affecting, subtle portrait of two hostile but equally fragile camps” (The New Yorker), their tragedy paints a shockingly true picture of the country we still live in today, two decades after this book’s first publication.
An acclaimed novelist reflects on his violent past and a lifestyle that threatened to destroy him - until he was saved by writing.
After their parents divorced in the 1970s, 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. He signed on 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. His memoir is a riveting, visceral, profound meditation on physical violence and the failures and triumphs of love.
Passion and betrayal, violent desperation, ambivalent love that hinges on hatred, and the quest for acceptance by those who stand on the edge of society-these are the hard-hitting themes of a stunningly crafted first collection of stories by the bestselling author of House of Sand and Fog*.
*A vigilant young man working in a halfway house finds himself unable to defend against the rage of one of the inmates in the title story. In "White Trees, Hammer Moon," a man soon to leave home for prison finds himself as unprepared for a family camping trip in the mountains of New Hampshire as he has been for most things in his life. And in the award-winning "Forky," an ex-con is haunted by the punishment he receives just as he is being released into the world. With an incisive ability to inhabit the lives of his characters, Dubus travels deep into the heart of the elusive American dream.
In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking gratification in food and sex, work and love.
In these linked novellas in which characters walk out the back door of one story and into the next, love is "dirty"—tangled up with need, power, boredom, ego, fear, and fantasy. On the Massachusetts coast north of Boston, a controlling manager, Mark, discovers his wife's infidelity after twenty-five years of marriage. An overweight young woman, Marla, gains a romantic partner but loses her innocence. A philandering bartender/aspiring poet, Robert, betrays his pregnant wife. And in the stunning title novella, a teenage girl named Devon, fleeing a dirty image of her posted online, seeks respect in the eyes of her widowed great-uncle Francis and of an Iraq vet she’s met surfing the Web.
Slivered by happiness and discontent, aging and death, but also persistent hope and forgiveness, these beautifully wrought narratives express extraordinary tenderness toward human beings, our vulnerable hearts and bodies, our fulfilling and unfulfilling lives alone and with others.
One early September night, at the moment before the world changes, a young woman brings her daughter to work.
April's usual babysitter, Jean, has had a panic attack that's landed her in hospital. April doesn't really know anyone else, so decides it's best to have her three-year-old daughter close by, watching children's videos in the office, while she works.
But April is a stripper at the Puma Club for Men. And tonight she has an unusual client, a foreigner both remote and too personal, and free with his cash. His name is Bassam. Meanwhile, another man, AJ, has been thrown out of the club for holding hands with his favourite stripper, and he's drunk and angry and lonely.
From these explosive elements comes a relentless, raw, searing, passionate page-turning narrative, a big-hearted and painful novel about sex and parenthood, honour and masculinity. Set in the seamy underside of American life at the moment before the world changed, it juxtaposes lust for domination with hunger for connection, sexual violence with family love. It seizes the reader by the throat with the same psychological tension, depth and realism that characterised Andre Dubus's bestselling House of Sand and Fog - and with an even greater sense of the dark and anguished places in the human heart.