Finding a Girl in America by Andre DUBUS
A Novella and Ten Short Stories

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In his third Godine collection, the author of Separate Flights (1975) and Adultery & Other Choices (1977) deepens his hold on our attention. His people, the ones we see everyday but hardly know, deliver those recurrent shocks of recognition that are the mark of a seasoned storyteller. His largely coastal New England world more and more feels like a permanent part of the modern literary landscape.

The novella, 'Finding a Girl in America,' continues the life of Hank Allison, a central character in Dubus' earlier long tales, 'We Don't Live Here Anymore' and 'Adultery.' Hank is a man haunted by his failures as a husband, his concern for his daughter, and his need for a new marriage that can survive his obsessive writer's absorption with himself.

Other stories including 'Killings,' a swift and wholly successful tale of revenge; 'Townies,' about a young man whose affair with an undergraduate girl ends in deadly fury; 'At Saint Croix,' the story of a man and woman, both divorced, whose Caribbean spring vacation fails to exorcise his ghosts; 'The Pitcher,' where a baseball player can manage his arm but not his wife; and 'The Winter Father,' a story of overwhelming tenderness dealing with a divorced father and his weekend attempts to re-establish contact with his two children.

Subtle and haunting, Dubus concentrates his Chekhovian and utterly American attention on the residual anguish and momentary elation of deep attachments. Nothing in current American writing seems more genuine that this increasingly celebrated writer's rueful and chastened fictions.

About Andre DUBUS

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Andre Dubus was a short-story writer, essayist, and educator. Debus was a former Marine who taught college for 20 years while submitting his stories to small literary magazines. In the summer of 1986, he was hit by a car in Massachusetts, where he had stopped to help an accident victim. He spent the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair. Debus returned to writing after authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, and John Updike held a benefit that helped defer his medical expenses. His 1997 collection of short stories, Dancing After Hours, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Rea Award. He received the PEN/Malamud Award, the Jean Stein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from both the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations. Andre Dubus died on February 24, 1999.
Published June 1, 1980 by David R Godine Pub. 184 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Another collection of stories from a writer who doesn't seem to know quite what to do with his talents; as before, despite scenes and moments and perceptions that click, most of Dubus' stories seem either contrived, knottily formless, or just plain insubstantial.

Jun 10 1980 | Read Full Review of Finding a Girl in America: A ...

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