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Haverhill Reads 2023: Andre Dubus III


Every year the Haverhill Public Library picks one book for a community-wide read.

This year Andre Dubus III returns to the library to discuss his 2018 novel, Gone So Long. The author last visited the library in 2011 to discuss his autobiography Townie written about his teenage years growing up in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Sign up for the event here!

Join us for an afternoon with bestselling author Andre Dubus III. He’ll read from his 2018 novel, Gone So Long. His talk will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase from Jabberwocky Bookshop of Newburyport. 

Andre Dubus III grew up in mill towns on the Merrimack River along the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border. His eight books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Daysand his memoir, TownieHis most recent novel, Gone So Long, has been named on many “Best Books” lists, including The Boston Globe’s “Twenty Best Books of 2018.” House of Sand and Fog was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a fiction finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Oprah Book Club Selection, and was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated motion picture starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. Townie, which describes his life in Haverhill, was a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Dirty Love was chosen as a Notable Book and Editors’ Choice from the New York Times, a Notable Fiction from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus Starred Best Book of 2013. He has two new books forthcoming, his novel Such Kindness, due in 2023, and a collection of personal essays, Ghost Dogs, to be released soon. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

In anticipation of author Andre Dubus III’s visit to the library on Saturday, April 22, join us for a screening of House of Sand and Fog, on April 15th.

Kathy gets evicted from her home for failing to pay a tax she never should have been charged to pay in the first place. The house is swiftly put up for auction and bought by a former military officer from Iran named Behrani. When legal efforts fail her, Kathy turns to a sympathetic cop who wants out of a loveless marriage and who is willing to step over legal boundaries if it might give him the fresh start he is so badly craving.

Gone So Long

Few writers can enter their characters so completely or evoke their lives as viscerally as Andre Dubus III. In this deeply compelling new novel, a father, estranged for the worst of reasons, is driven to seek out the daughter he has not seen in decades. Daniel Ahearn lives a quiet, solitary existence in a seaside New England town. Forty years ago, following a shocking act of impulsive violence on his part, his daughter, Susan, was ripped from his arms by police. Now in her forties, Susan still suffers from the trauma of a night she doesn’t remember, as she struggles to feel settled, to love a man and create something that lasts. Lois, her maternal grandmother who raised her, tries to find peace in her antique shop in a quaint Florida town but cannot escape her own anger, bitterness, and fear. Cathartic, affirming, and steeped in the empathy and precise observations of character for which Dubus is celebrated, Gone So Long explores how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become, and probes the limits of recovery and absolution.

Townie : A Memoir

After their parents divorce in the 1970’s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Haverhill, Massachusetts saturated with drugs and crime. To protect himself and those he loved from street violence, Andre learned to use his fists so well that he was even scared of himself. He was on a fast track to getting killed, or killing someone else, or to beatings-for-pay as a boxer. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds couldn’t have been more stark or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by becoming a writer himself could Andre begin to bridge the abyss and save himself.

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