A Memoir

Book - 2011
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After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. To protect himself and those he loved, Andre started pumping iron and learned to use his fists so well that he became the kind of man who could send others to the hospital with one punch, and did. Irresistibly drawn to stand up for the underdog, he was on a fast track to getting killed--or killing someone else.

Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of "townies" and the ambitions of well-fed students debating books and ideas, couldn't have been more stark or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by finally putting pen to paper himself did young Andre come into his own, discovering the power of empathy in channeling the stories of others--and ultimately bridging the rift between his father and himself.

An unforgettable book, Townie is a riveting and profound meditation on physical violence and the failures and triumphs of love.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2011
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780393064667
Branch Call Number: 813.54 Dubus 3564
Characteristics: 387 p


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Jul 22, 2017

An excellent, masculine memoir. It is endlessly readable, engaging, and most of all readable.

Sep 02, 2014

Be forewarned: this is a brutal and bleak memoir, full of violence, loneliness and heartbreak. Yet it is also a thing of beauty, a straightforward and unadorned memoir in which the young Dubus, violently bullied as a child, transforms himself into a fighter, protector and, ultimately, a bully himself. Dubus is searlingly honest in the telling of his story, and in the process creates a very moving portrait of male vulnerability. If you enjoyed his great House of Sand and Fog, you will appreciate going deeper into Dubus’ world.

Jun 15, 2014

Good reading.

Mar 03, 2014

It's a book you'll think about for weeks after reading it. I highly recommend it for newish fathers like me. Overall theme from my view: dads, make good choices.

debwalker Apr 02, 2011


"In his powerful debut memoir, novelist Dubus charts the violent arc of his early manhood. Following his parents' divorce, he grappled with the challenges and temptations on the streets of a series of blue-collar Massachusetts towns. Well into his 20s, he found the visceral allure of street fighting and general violence irresistible, but he eventually channeled his energies into boxing and, finally, a successful writing career. Dubus' novelistic storytelling combines with insightful introspection and striking, blunt prose, and the author's father, also a writer, stands out as a complex influence on his son's life, alternately distant, compassionate and vexing."
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thanschman Mar 23, 2011

One of the absolute most incredible, gifted, and "real" writers I have ever read. Amazing. This guy is a true inspiration to all aspiring writers out there. I can't wait to read his earlier work since I started with his most recent work and will now work backwards.

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