Episode: Andre Dubus’s Carny World


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Andre Dubus’s Carny World

A conversation with Andre Dubus III about his new novel, Gone So Long. 

An old-fashioned sort of writer from this part of the world, and a writer we love for his swerves and surprises, Andre Dubus III is the child of both a famous literary father and, same time, a rough, tough mill town boyhood. Last time around with Andre and his memoir Townie, I told him his growing up read like David Copperfield with heaps of crystal meth, junk TV, Fritos, daily fistfights, and Vietnam all thrown in. (Listen to that conversation here.)

This time, reading his new novel Gone So Long, I wondered out loud if Andre was stooping just a bit, getting back to the old neighborhood. You stick with Andre Dubus for his imagination and his compassion. He’s writing in Trump-time, of course, but in the company more nearly of Hillary Clinton’s basket of deplorables, of all kinds. Andre’s flow is not what we’re used to these days. Not the self-conscious exploration of the writer’s head. It’s mostly the sound of sadness among characters we don’t often get to care about in print anymore. I asked Andre if he was conscious of bucking the literary culture in this moment.

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