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Original Essays | September 30, 2014 2 comments
One day when I was 12 years old and setting off on my newspaper route after school my mom said will you stop at the doctor's and pick up something... Continue »
Andre Dubus IIIDescribe your latest project.
Right now I'm working on a collection of personal essays I hope to deliver to Norton this year. After years of trying to express some aspects of my life as fiction (growing up in a broke, single-parent household, drugs, premature sex, violence, etc.), it's become clear it will only work as memoir. There are writers who can write fiction that is directly derived from their lives. I'm finally beginning to learn I'm not one of them.
I've had a lot of interesting jobs because most of them involved working with people in trouble; in my early 20s, I worked in a halfway house for convicted adult felons from a maximum security penitentiary. Some of these people had raped, robbed, and killed other human beings. I think I began to learn then, to quote bumper-sticker Christianity, to hate the sin and not the sinner.
I also worked for a bounty hunter and actually flew to Mexico to track down a contract killer. U.S. marshals and agents from the DEA and FBI were hoping we'd find him. We never did, and I'm relieved!
Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
How do you relax?
Why do you write?
I know this: if I don't get in those daily writing sessions, I just feel far away from me, whoever the hell that is.
Aside from other writers, name some artists from whom you draw inspiration and talk a little about their work.
Do you read blogs?
Recommend five or more books on a single subject of personal interest or expertise.
Five great books about boys and men, something that lately I've been thinking more about:
This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake by Breece D'J Pancake
Father and Son by Larry Brown
A Lesson before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
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Andre Dubus III is the author of House of Sand and Fog (an Oprah Book Club selection and finalist for the National Book Award), Bluesman, and The Cage Keeper and Other Stories. He lives with his family north of Boston.