We'd love to say that we were reading Andre Dubus III before he was big. But, we'll admit that, like most of the country, we discovered him when he published his beautiful, heart-wrenching third book. Finalist for the National Book Award, #1 New York Times-bestseller, BookSense Book of the Year, and (last but not least) Oprah Book Club selection, House of Sand and Fog established Dubus as a writer to watch. It certainly grabbed our attention.
So, when we received Townie, Dubus's page-turning memoir, we thought, Hmm... Indiespensable? After reading it, we were sure. As Jill put it, "I have loved all his books. But Townie is better. It's astonishingly good." And Kim advised, "Don't miss this unforgettable book!"
For further enthusiasm, look to Dubus's fellow writers:
The best first-person account of an author's life I have ever read....I sincerely believe Andre Dubus III may be the best writer in America. His talent is enormous. No one who reads this book will ever forget it." —James Lee Burke, author of the Dave Robicheaux novels
"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. —Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
Not bad, eh? To complement your reading of Townie, we've included Jill's interview with Dubus on the enclosed author cards. The interview offers a deeper insight into Dubus's creative process, plus touches on several of the book's themes — violence, memory, familial tensions.
Finally, we'll admit that, while a deeply rewarding read, this memoir will run you through the ringer. So, to return the spring to your step, we've also included a pot of salted caramel sauce. Hand-crafted in Portland by Xocolatl de David, this gourmet treat can be used as a sauce for ice cream or a dip for fruit — or (as is our propensity) find a spoon and eat it straight out of the jar.
The Indiespensable Team
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A collective of high muckamucks, the Panjandrums largely spend their time in competitive Bananagram duels and negotiations regarding Pie Friday — not to mention painstakingly designing each installment of Powell's subscription club, Indiespensable, with the help of independent publishers and local merchants. From time to time, they find it entertaining to give you a look at the hows and whys behind the what. But, if you're yearning for more, send questions, suggestions, and random anecdotes to email@example.com. (They especially like stories about pets, babies, and pie fillings.)
Books mentioned in this post