“These will be classics of American literature.”
— Joyce Carol Oates
“A welcome gathering of work by a writer always worth reading” — Kirkus Reviews
“Dubus’s stories, collected in these two remarkable and important volumes—with a third, The Cross-Country Runner, coming this month—serve as a beautiful model of romantic mistakes once made, a barometer of how far we have or have not come in relations between men and women together. Several storms may have passed since they were written, but more are sure to come.” — The Sewanee Review
“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
“The solidly yet intricately constructed short stories and novellas of Dubus vibrate with a provocative intensity of place, predicament, thought, and feeling.” — Booklist, Starred Review
“The short story never rested in more honest hands than when Dubus wrote it… 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
“This ‘inevitable’ quality of life that the stories so often explore… take[s] human life seriously in the unhesitating belief that fiction is, or should be, about real people.” — William Pritchard, The Boston Globe
“…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
“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
“This is a writer able to use words like “love,” “faith,” “heart,” “soul,” and “tenderness” without so much as a wink, because the narratives he composes seem to restore their luster.” — The Sewanee Review
First of a two-volume collection of short fiction by Dubus (Dancing After Hours, 1996, etc.), a Chekhov-ian laureate of silences and secrets.
As Ann Beattie notes in her introduction to this volume, which gathers the collections Separate Flights (1975) and Adultery & Other Choices (1977), Dubus (1936-1999), a Catholic Louisianan so long resident in the Northeast that he is often thought of as a New England writer, was unusually capable of populating his work with believable women, “and it may be more unusual than I realize that he so consistently created and stayed so close to his female characters.”
For The Winter Father:
In his lively introduction, Richard Russo posits that Dubus’s (1936-1999) often awkward, often confused characters “are too shy or inarticulate or uneducated or lacking in self-awareness to speak for themselves.” A fine case in point, as he notes, is Dubus’s story “Anna,” in which the title character, long envious of the good luck of those who can buy the things she can’t afford, spends part of the proceeds of a clumsy robbery on a “round blue Hoover vacuum cleaner” whose cord is longer than her apartment and that, in the end, doesn’t do much to elevate her from a humdrum existence of drugs, beer, and laundromats…
We Don’t Live Here Anymore and The Winter Father have also received glowing Booklist Starred Reviews:
The solidly yet intricately constructed short stories and novellas of Dubus (1936–99) vibrate with a provocative intensity of place, predicament, thought, and feeling. Each is an intimate, unnerving drama of the everyday conflicts between dream and reality, spirit and desire. Dubus’s original publisher, David R. Godine, ensures that Dubus’s powerful, quintessentially American fiction will reach new generations by issuing three collected volumes…Dubus explores everything from a young woman’s struggle with conformity to the tough revelations of a young man’s military training, while three linked novellas about two young Massachusetts couples are magnificently explosive in their bold psychological, erotic, and moral complexity. Beattie has it right: “Dubus’s stories question the status quo. Actually, they catch it and break its neck.”
— Donna Seaman
Praise for the Original Collections…
On Separate Flights:
Dubus is good — so good in fact that if [this is] your introduction to his work, you’re apt to wonder where he’s been hiding.
— Washington Post Book World
I have to believe that the appearance of these stories in book form is an event . . . you will certainly want to keep it and read it again.
— Chicago Tribune Book Review
Most Underrated Writer — Dubus is the sort of writer who instructs the heart, and he ought to be discovered by any number of readers.
— The Atlantic Monthly
Dubus has been compared to Chekhov, and there is much that is apt in that. His collection restores faith in the survival of the short story.
— The Los Angeles Times
The title story alone will make it worth your while to go out and get the book.
— New York Times Book Review
[Adultery] is a stunning vision of loss, domination and redemption, and Andre Dubus is a wonderful writer.
— Boston Globe
All his work is informed by a quality rare in fiction: compassion.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dubus controls his voice tightly, and the observations he chooses to release to us, while seemingly random and often light-hearted, have beneath them almost a wild, frantic quality.
— Chicago Tribune
Dubus is one of the few writers today who can take the top of you head off with a word, a line, a situation.
“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 than 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
On The Last Worthless Evening:
“Rose,” by itself, is worth the price of the book; it is the most powerful entry in Dubus’s impressive canon.
The immediacy and strength of his writing renders the small universal; the reader is drawn into the situations Dubus creates so completely that for the moment, no other world seems to exist. In all of the narratives, the human, and humanitarian, spirit triumphs over what can only be called the forces of darkness. Moral struggle comes as naturally to these people as good writing does to Dubus. His words and characterizations are infallibly right, yet he never abandons good storytelling in his desire to make a point. The majesty of these pieces remains long after the reader closes the book.
— Publishers Weekly
More Praise for Andre Dubus…
To enter the work of Dubus is to be hurtled inside a world so deeply that one knows these people immediately. He always delivers; bam! Story after story will blow you away; his honesty is terrifying and liberating. There is no one like him; he is inimitable.
— Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize winner
Dubus is a patient, resourceful and profound writer who never gives in to convention—although his situations are our situations, and imminently recognizable. The great, addictive pleasure of reading him arises from our anticipation that he is always going to say something interesting.
— Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winner
Andre Dubus’s brilliant stories are so full of compassion and humor, heartache and desire, violence and tenderness, that, reading them, it’s impossible not to see the most secret and shameful parts of our own lives reflected back at us. I can think of few writers whose stories are so profoundly moving that I find myself responding to them both viscerally and intellectually—sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page. These beautiful new editions triumphantly showcase stories by one of the greatest writers America has ever produced.
— Molly Antopol, National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Award winner
That Andre Dubus is up there with the short story immortals now—Welty, Hemingway, Gallant—is indisputable. But read a Dubus story and you don’t think much about the brilliance of the craft because you’re too busy becoming immersed in the lives of his characters and you come to know them as you might your sister or your brother, your son or your daughter. He goes that deep into the souls of his people, and just when you think he can’t go deeper, a sentence will leave you shattered. Love was his great subject and to my mind few have explored love’s mysteries with as much generosity. Can one writer’s words make us more human? The words of Andre Dubus can—and do.
— Peter Orner, National Book Critics Circle Awards finalist
There is no doubt that the work Dubus leaves behind is all the richer for the fact that he, like the Italian major, refused to surrender to his despair.
— New York Times
At his best, Dubus can evoke thoughts that lie too deep for tears.
It seems there’s no human life he can’t transform into quiet, passionate, commanding fiction. At one point, in passing, literature is referred to as “the human attempt to make truth palpable and delightful.” And so, in Dubus’s capable hands, it is.
— Kirkus Reviews
There isn’t a better short story writer in America.
— Star Tribune
This collection does that rare and powerful thing that sometimes happens in fiction: it changes your life.
— The St. Petersburg Times
Dubus’s detailed creation of three-dimensional characters is propelled by his ability to turn a quiet but perfect phrase… [This] kind of writing raises gooseflesh of admiration.
— San Francisco Chronicle