Literary fiction / Novellas & Short stories
WE DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
Collected Short Stories & Novellas, Vol. 1
by Andre Dubus
June 2018 – David R. Godine
In the early 1970s, literary journals that contained Andre Dubus short stories were passed around amongst admiring readers. When his debut collection SEPARATE FLIGHTS arrived in 1975, it was immediately celebrated. “Dubus is the sort of writer who instructs the heart, and he ought to be discovered by any number of readers,” wrote The Atlantic Monthly. The collection won the Boston Globe’s Laurence L. & Thomas Winship/PEN New England Award.
The collection includes the novella “We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” which served as the basis for the 2004 film of the same title (nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival); the novella also introduces Dubus’s writer-protagonist Hank Allison, a character who continues to appear throughout his work.
Two years later, the title story of Dubus’s sophomore collection ADULTERY AND OTHER CHOICES continued the exploits of Hank Allison. “The title story alone will make it worth your while to go out and get the book,” wrote the New York Times Book Review.
While the collection’s opening stories focus on the fragile nature of youth, later stories shift to darker struggles of adulthood, such as in “Andromache”—Dubus’s first story to appear in The New Yorker (1968)—which traces the aftermath of a tragic death during wartime.
Andre Dubus was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana to a Cajun-Irish Catholic family. He graduated from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and later moved to Massachusetts, where he taught creative writing at Bradford College. His life was marked with personal tragedies, as are those of his protagonists – ostensibly ordinary men who are drawn to addiction and violence as methods to distract themselves from their woes. Unlike his characters, however, Dubus eventually found success and repute, as well as the corresponding offers from large publishers. He nevertheless remained loyal to Godine until the end of his career.
“To enter the work of Dubus is to be hurtled inside a world so deeply that one knows these people immediately. He always delivers; bam! Story after story will blow you away; his honesty is terrifying and liberating. There is no one like him; he is inimitable.” —Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize winner
“Dubus is a patient, resourceful and profound writer who never gives in to convention—although his situations are our situations, and imminently recognizable. The great, addictive pleasure of reading him arises from our anticipation that he is always going to say something interesting.” —Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winner
“Andre Dubus’ brilliant stories are so full of compassion and humor, heartache and desire, violence and tenderness, that, reading them, it’s impossible not to see the most secret and shameful parts of our own lives reflected back at us. I can think of few writers whose stories are so profoundly moving that I find myself responding to them both viscerally and intellectually—sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page. These beautiful new editions triumphantly showcase stories by one of the greatest writers America has ever produced.” —Molly Antopol, National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Award winner
“That Andre Dubus is up there with the short story immortals now—Welty, Hemingway, Gallant—is indisputable. But read a Dubus story and you don’t think much about the brilliance of the craft because you’re too busy becoming immersed in the lives of his characters and you come to know them as you might your sister or your brother, your son or your daughter. He goes that deep into the souls of his people, and just when you think he can’t go deeper, a sentence will leave you shattered. Love was his great subject and to my mind few have explored love’s mysteries with as much generosity. Can one writer’s words make us more human? The words of Andre Dubus can—and do.” —Peter Orner, National Book Critics Circle Awards finalist