An on-line dictionary defines the word 'townie' as "a permanent resident of a town, especially a resident of a college town who is academically unaffiliated with the local college or university." Therein lies the nut of the emotionally wrenching coming-of-age story told by Andre Dubus III in Townie, of growing up in chaos on the poor and drug-infested side of Haverill with his underpaid and overworked mother and three siblings while, across the river, in a more leafy side of town, his father, acclaimed author Andre Dubus, teaches at the local college and visits on Sundays. Now a full-time faculty member himself, at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Dubus III has published five books, including bestsellers, The Garden of Last Days and the critically applauded Oprah Book Club selection House of Sand and Fog, which was made into an Academy-award nominated movie, starring Ben Kingsley. Dubus III new book, Dirty Love, will come out later this year. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, The Pushcart Prize, and he is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.
Andre Dubus III will be introduced by author Doug Bauer, whose own new collection of essays will be published in the fall. Copies of Townie will be available for purchase, signing and borrowing. The reading starts at 6:30 PM.
Below is the list of scheduled authors for the remaining 2012-2013 season of The South End Writes:
Tuesday, February 26, 6:30 p.m.
An examination of the award-winning author’s violent past, Townie has been described ”best book” of non-fiction of 2011 and 2012 by many literary-gate guardians. It was preceded by Dubus III’s previous novels, House of Sand and Fog (made into an Academy-award nominated movie by the same name) and The Garden of Last Days. Author and essayist Doug Bauer will introduce the writer, who is a member of the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
Tuesday, March 19, 6:30 p.m.
will read from her second novel, The K Street Affair.
Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m.
Editor, writer of numerous books of fiction and non-fiction, and revered professor of English at Bennington College (to where he commutes from the South End), Bauer will read from his most recent collection of essays, What Happens Next?, to be published in the fall of 2013 by the University of Iowa Press. His previous work includes several novels, including Dexterity, The Very Air, and The Book of Famous Iowans; and two non-fiction books, Prairie City, Iowa and The Stuff of Fiction. He has edited anthologies, such as Prime Times: Writers on their favorite television shows; and Death by Pad Thai and Other Unforgettable Meals.
Tuesday, April 30, 6:30 p.m.
wrote The Art Forger as a fictionalized suspense thriller based on the heartbreaking heist of 13 irreplacable paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. The author of five other suspense novels, and the non-fiction The Big Squeeze, the South End resident teaches creative writing at Northeastern University.
Tuesday, May 14, 6:30 p.m.
the spectacularly successful author who grew up in Dorchester and is ALSO a BPL trustee, published his latest novel, Live by Night, in 2012. Set in Boston in the 1920s, the New York Times’ reviewer called the book a “sentence-by-sentence pleasure.” Previous novels include, among others, Gone Baby Gone,Shutter Island and Mystic River, all made into fabulous movies.
Tuesday, May 21, 6:30 p.m.
The Dovekeepers, a historical novel describing the AD70 massacre at Masada from the point of view of four women at the fortress before it fell during the Jewish-Roman war, is the most recent of the nearly two dozen novels by Hoffman and just came out in paperback. To be introduced by Sue Miller.
Tuesday, June 11, 6:30 p.m.
the local filmmaker whose mesmerizing documentary, Angelo Unwritten, has followed the life of a teenager adopted out of foster care when he was twelve, will return with an update of new material gathered since December 2011.
Tuesday, June 18, 6:30 p.m.
will return to read from his current work-in-progress, retracing the steps of his father who, as a soldier, was sent to Europe during the Second World War.
The five favorite books recommended by the authors mentioned above, and previous speakers, can be found under THE SOUTH END READS.