While the title novella of Dubus’s Finding a Girl in America returns to the somewhat off-the-rails literary life of Hank Allison, the collection’s opening story strikes a much darker tone: “Killings”—the basis of the Academy Award-nominated film In the Bedroom—is a swift tale of revenge that leaves readers wondering what they might do in the name of family love.
Dubus’s prowess with narrative compression is on full display in the story “Waiting”: the hollow ache experienced by a woman widowed by the Korean war, took Dubus fourteen months to write and was more than one hundred pages in early manuscript form…but spans a mere seven pages in published form.
Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Joyce Carol Oates called “The Pretty Girl”—the opening novella of The Times Are Never So Bad—“the most compelling and suspenseful work of fiction [Dubus] has written.”
Richard Russo’s introduction to this volume grapples with his complex feelings of reading Dubus’s work over many decades, but when it comes to the much-anthologized masterpiece “A Father’s Story,” Russo writes: “I won’t mince words. It’s one of the finest stories ever penned by an American.”
To learn more about Andre Dubus and this three-volume collection of his work, click here.
If love is time, then Dubus’s work may one day be discovered by a new generation of readers, who will love his writing as honestly and completely as he loved the craft of writing.
—Finnegan Schick, The New Criterion
Andre Dubus, one of the 20th century’s most gifted short story writers…like Raymond Carver, became a master of the form…
—The New York Times
He is the greater master of meaningful compression, in which a whole novel is packed into a couple of sentences…
In each surprising tale, Dubus, equally empathic in portraying women and men, tackles with supreme candor precision, artistry, and valor the full emotional and moral weight of love, marriage adultery, friendship, parenthood, ambition, selfishness, and loneliness, subtly critiquing the social mores versus questions of self and faith.
—Booklist, Starred Review
…the three volumes reaffirm Dubus’s status as a master, as an unparalleled excavator of the heart and its pains, its longings, its errors, its thumping against the constant threat of grief, despair, and loneliness.
—Nina MacLaughlin, The Paris Review
…the language of [Dubus’s] stories is at the service of something outside itself … often we forget we are reading sentences but are put rather into more direct connection with the character’s thoughts and feelings.
—William Pritchard, The Boston Globe