Driving Andre Dubus III

June 17, 2009

What could possibly be better than hosting author Andre Dubus III in your bookstore? Getting to drive him around all day!

Let me just tell you, people, that if you weren’t there at his reading last night for Garden of Last Days, you wish you were. Not only is he one of the most articulate and well-read authors I’ve encountered, but he’s an absolute riot — funny, down to earth, and incredibly genuine. This is a man who said to everyone who brought a book to be signed, “Tell me your life story,” and meant it! He’s also the kind of person that makes you want to tell them things that are probably better off untold.

I should know — I spent pretty much the whole day with him, from the airport up to Park City, back to Salt Lake to the reading and then to his hotel afterwards — and let’s just say that some of the stuff we talked about? Yeah, you will never hear those stories. Unless he puts them in writing, in which case those aren’t about me.

You can get a little taste of what he’s like by listening to his interview with Doug Fabrizio on KUER’s Radio West or reading my interview with him. If you were at the event, share your favorite moments/thoughts in the comments!

Hope, Choice and Loss: an Interview with Andre Dubus III

May 26, 2009

Someone once told me that you can tell a lot about readers by the way they prioritize three elements of a book: plot, characters, and style. I’ve since tested this theory out on customers and colleagues, with impressive results. Figuring out which are most important to you tells me not only which books you’ll like, but which you won’t. For me, it’s always been characters first and foremost, so it’s no surprise that I’ve been caught, hook, line and sinker, by the work of Andre Dubus III. Coming from a talented lineage (not only is his father Andre Dubus, but his cousin is James Lee Burke), it’s no surprise that Dubus III is as good as he is. With a keen eye for humanity’s follies and triumphs, Dubus explores the many dimensions of circumstance and choice in his novels. House of Sand and Fog, first a National Book Award Finalist and later a movie, brought him into the limelight; Garden of Last Days showcases his writing, introduces the reader to unforgettable characters, and is one of the best novels on the September 11 tragedy that I’ve read. Dubus’ reading at TKE on June 16 is one you won’t want to miss.- Jenn Northington

JENN NORTHINGTON: Garden of Last Days takes place in the days leading up to 9/11, but revolves around a child going missing. For me, this small tragedy offset the greater impending horror in a strange way–at the moment I felt the greatest sense of relief in the novel the towers came down, leaving me emotionally torn. Was this juxtaposition a conscious decision on your part?

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