The Times Are Never So Bad

Another classic Dubus collection of men and women attempting to live together, to tell the truth as they see it (or don’t see it), and to survive the crises, and sometimes the violence, of domestic life. The focus of this collection, which includes the often praised tale “A Father’s Story,” as well as the novella “The Pretty Girl,” is on the twisting deformations of love, on domestic disturbances, and on marriages whose sanctity can no longer bind them.

“The Pretty Girl” . . . may be the most compelling and suspenseful work of fiction [Dubus] has written.
Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review

For the lyricism and directness of his language, the richness and precision of his observation, he is among the best short-story writers in America.
Judith Levine, The Village Voice

Mr. Dubus is a shrewd student of people who come to accept pain as a fair price for pleasure, and to view right and wrong as a matter of degree; without moralizing, he suggests that their self-inflicted punishments are often worse that what a just court, or a just God, would decree.
John Updike, The New Yorker

It is a world of secrets,” says the narrator of ‘A Father’s Story.’ Andre Dubus’s fine new collection is made of those secrets, observed with an art that is luminous with honesty and generosity. Dubus is interested in essential things—in the shadowy powers that circle our lives and the slender resources of faith and love with which we try to keep them at bay.
Tobias Wolff

Andre Dubus was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana to a Cajun-Irish Catholic family. He graduated from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and later moved to Massachusetts, where he taught creative writing at Bradford College. He is widely regarding a master of the short story.