Townie: A Memoir by Andre DubusTownie: A Memoir by Andre Dubus

Townie: A Memoir

byAndre Dubus

Paperback | February 7, 2012

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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.
Andre Dubus III is the author of Gone So Long, Dirty Love, The Garden of Last Days, House of Sand and Fog (a #1 New York Times bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club pick, and finalist for the National Book Award), and Townie, winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His writing has received many honors, including ...
Title:Townie: A MemoirFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:February 7, 2012Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393340678

ISBN - 13:9780393340679


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fascinating A fascinating look at the specific family dynamics he experienced, but even more interesting was the look at the dynamics of a place in which the "townies" and the academics who are transplanted in clash against each other in many ways. Definitely worth reading this one.
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a compelling true story of growing up in the tough side of town with all the disadvantages of living in poverty and having to fight his way throughout, yet making it despite overwhelming tough obstacles.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life starts badly but has a silver lining Andre Dubus' amazing bio starts off when he is a child and his dad, famous writer, Andre Dubus Sr, leaves their family to live as a bachelor. Bad times follow as Dubus' mother struggles to raise three children with very little financial support from the father. Predictably, they soon are forced to move into the very worst parts of town and Andre becomes immersed in a sub-culture of drugs, fighting and petty crime. He finds some emotional catharsis in drugs and in brawling but as his teen years come to a close, he feels like he is wasting his life amongst the desperation of his neighbourhood. Repeated tries at college and a brief career in carpentry get him back on track until he finally realizes that writing is the only satisfying occupation for him. The bio concerns itself with Andre's struggles with his rage and his propensity for getting in fights unnnecessarily. It also tackles the awkward relationship that Andre shares with his father, who returns to become more a friend than a parent. It is an inspiring to see someone who by all accounts should have ended up nowhere turning their life around and becoming quite successful. Dubus has lived a very interesting and volatile life up to his career as a writer and I think anyone will find this bio to be quite addictive and a quick read.
Date published: 2011-05-23

Editorial Reviews

Townie is a better, harder book than anything [Dubus III] has yet written; it pays off on every bet that’s been placed on him. — Dwight Garner (New York Times)Harrowing and strange and beautiful…This book marks an important moment in the growing body of Dubus’s work. — Bret Lott (Boston Globe)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 (NPR)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 (San Francisco Chronicle)A stormy and courageous memoir. — Kate Bittman (The New Yorker)[Dubus III] is such a solid writer, he redeems the genre. He shows that truth can be as honest as fiction. — Mark Lindquist (Seattle Times)Dubus has an eye for searing detail that is unequaled so far this century…and he employs that here to maximum effect. — Joy Tipping (Dallas Morning News)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 BurkeWhatever 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 LambI’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