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Cambridge Book Club Readers~ Townie: A Memoir by Andre Dubus III

Townie: A Memoir Andre Dubus III (Author)  

Won Book of the Year Adult Non-Fiction—2012 Indie Choice Awards
Amazon Best Book of the Month February 2011

An acclaimed novelist reflects on his violent past and a lifestyle that threatened to destroy him—until he was saved by writing.

After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their exhausted working mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. To protect himself and those he loved, Andre started pumping iron and learned to use his fists so well that he became the kind of man who could send others to the hospital with one punch, and did. Irresistibly drawn to stand up for the underdog, he was on a fast track to getting killed—or killing someone else.

Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash of worlds between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of “townies” and the ambitions of well-fed students debating books and ideas, couldn’t have been more stark or more difficult for a son to communicate to a father. Only by finally putting pen to paper himself did young Andre come into his own, discovering the power of empathy in channeling the stories of others—and ultimately bridging the rift between his father and himself.

An unforgettable book, Townie is a riveting and profound meditation on physical violence and the failures and triumphs of love.

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  • Simon C.

    Hi Paras! Thanks for letting me join the group! Regrettably, I won't be able to make it this time around--need to be heads down at work this week as I'm going to Costa Rica next week. But looking forward to the next one!

    August 27, 2012

  • Jules

    Ooops, guess I am late to the suggestion party, but this looks good. :)

    For future months, I am really captivated by "Unbroken" which is a bio of an Olympic runner turned WWII air corps man lost at sea. Also looked at a few others, including "Shine Shine Shine" Amazon's pick for July, which is about a bald woman with autistic husband and son whose hard-won veneer of perfect normalcy is lost in a random car accident. Just read a snippet, but could make for interesting discussion.

    August 1, 2012

  • Paras H.

    great suggestions Phil & Carrie! I'm a huge fan of Jhumpa Lahiri!!!

    July 31, 2012

  • Philip

    Sice I don't see any, I'll throw out a few book ideas for next time:
    Townies, Dubus
    Short Stories by Andre Dubus
    Dragon Tattoo. Yeh I know it's been around forever but I'm just getting around to reading it.
    The Petting Zoo, Carroll

    1 · July 30, 2012

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