March 2011 Indie Next List
— Margot Liddell, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
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"Dubus relives, absent self-pity or blame, a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness." —Vanity Fair
After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their overworked mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of "townies" and the ambitions of students debating books and ideas, couldn’t have been more stark. In this unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others—bridging, in the process, the rift between his father and himself.
Praise For Townie: A Memoir…
— Dwight Garner
Harrowing and strange and beautiful…This book marks an important moment in the growing body of Dubus’s work.
— Bret Lott
As a memoir, and as a family story, Townie is beautiful and almost perfectly executed. As a meditation on violence, from an author who once embraced it, it is shocking, necessary and indispensable.
— Michael Schaub
This haunting memoir is as explosive as a Muhammad Ali prize fight, as vivid as a Basquiat canvas…This wrenching story can only strengthen the reputation of Andre Dubus III. From father to son, the torch has passed.
— Dan Cryer
A stormy and courageous memoir.
— Kate Bittman
[Dubus III] is such a solid writer, he redeems the genre. He shows that truth can be as honest as fiction.
— Mark Lindquist
Dubus has an eye for searing detail that is unequaled so far this century…and he employs that here to maximum effect.
— Joy Tipping
The best first-person account of an author’s life I have ever read. The violence that is described is the kind that is with us every day, whether we recognize it or not. The characters are wonderful and compassionately drawn. I sincerely believe Andre Dubus may be the best writer in America. His talent is enormous. No one who reads this book will ever forget it.
— James Lee Burke
Whatever it cost Dubus to bare his soul and write this brutally honest and life-affirming memoir, it is an extraordinary gift to his readers.
— Wally Lamb
I’ve never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures, than Townie. It’s a brutal and, yes, thrilling memoir that sheds real light on the creative process of two of our best writers, Andre Dubus III and his famous, much revered father. You’ll never read the work of either man in quite the same way afterward. You may not view the world in quite the same way either.
— Richard Russo
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393340679, 400pp.
Publication Date: February 6, 2012