Collected Short Stories & Novellas, Volume 2
Introduction by Richard Russo
While the title novella of 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.”
Praise for The Winter Father:
“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
“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