Andre Dubus was an American short story writer and novelist regarded as one of the 20th century’s finest American short story authors. The sensitivity with which he depicted violence in his literary works was widely admired, and he is primarily remembered for his short stories in ‘Dancing After Hours’ and other collections. Numerous of his stories were told from a woman’s point of view, and the triumph of love over solitude was a recurring theme in his writings. Dubus was educated by the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order, which fostered his early passion for literature. He decided to pursue a vocation in writing and attended college to study English and journalism. After serving for six years in the Marine Corps, he returned to writing and earned a reputation as an exceptional short story writer. In 1986, he was involved in a tragic automobile accident that left him confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life. He fell into a depression after being shocked, but over time he recovered sufficiently to resume writing. Following the injury, he underwent a creative rebirth and went on to become one of the most prominent American short story writers of the 20th century.
Youth and Early Life
Andre Jules Dubus II was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana on August 11, 1936, to Katherine and André Jules Dubus. He had two older brothers. His family was Catholic, and he was nurtured in a devout manner. The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is a Roman Catholic religious order where he received his education.
Early on, he had a passion for writing, which his teachers encouraged him to pursue. After high school, he attended McNeese State College and graduated in 1958 with a degree in journalism and English.
Andre Dubus’s Career
After graduation, Andre Dubus enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served there for six years, eventually achieving the rank of captain. In 1964, he left the Marine Corps and moved to Iowa, where he enrolled in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.
The workshop was reputed to have produced notable American authors such as Flannery O’Connor and Wallace Stegner. Here, he had the good fortune to study under Richard Yates, who, like Dubus, was a fan of the works of Anton Chekhov, Ernest Hemingway, and John Cheever. In 1966, he earned an MFA in creative writing.
He then accepted a position at Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he would instruct creative writing and literature. Until 1984, he remained there for 18 years. Andre Dubus began his first novel while still a student at the Writer’s Workshop, and ‘The Lieutenant’ was published in 1967. The novel, the only one he would ever write, was inspired by his military experiences. It received positive reviews but was not commercially successful.
Eventually, he shifted his focus to short stories and, over the ensuing years, earned a reputation as one of the genre’s leading authors. In the years that followed, he published a number of short story collections, including ‘Separate Flights’ (1975), ‘Adultery and Other Choices’ (1977), ‘Finding a Girl in America (1980), ‘The Times Are Never So Bad’ (1983), and ‘Voices from the Moon’ (1985). (1984).
In 1986, he was embroiled in a terrible accident that left him permanently confined to a wheelchair. Initially depressed, he eventually realized that the tragedy had made him more aware of his surroundings and, consequently, a better author.
In 1988, his publisher issued a compendium of his previous works entitled “Selected Stories.” The proceeds from the publication assisted in covering his medical expenses. During this time, he also won a number of awards, which enhanced his reputation as a writer.
Already a successful author at the time of his accident, he became even more well-known afterward. In 1991, he released ‘Broken Vessels,’ a collection of essays detailing the catastrophe and its impact on his life. His final collection of short stories, “Dancing After Hours,” was published in 1996, followed by his final collection of essays, “Meditations from a Movable Chair,” in 1998.
Andre’s Major Effort
‘Dancing After Hours’, his collection of short stories, is regarded as one of his outstanding works. The title narrative is about a quadriplegic who regains his self-confidence after an accident that left him disabled.
Awards & Achievements
He received the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award in 1975. In 1991, he won The PEN/Malamud Award (Rea Award for the Short Story) for short fiction distinction. He received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award.
Personal History and Legacy
In 1958, Andre Dubus wed Patricia Lowe, with whom he had four children. Andre Dubus III, one of the couple’s offspring, also became a renowned author. In 1970, the couple divorced. In 1975, he married Tommie Gale Cotter. This short-lived marriage terminated in divorce in 1977. In 1979, he sealed the knot with Peggy Rambach. This union resulted in two daughters.
In July 1986, while traveling from Boston to Haverhill, Massachusetts, he encountered two disabled drivers on the highway. He stopped to offer assistance and was assisting a passenger when an oncoming vehicle struck them. In the accident, one of the passengers perished, and Dubus was severely injured.
Despite having survived, his right leg was amputated above the knee, and his left limb was rendered useless. His wife abandoned him and took the children with her, adding to his woes. Initially despondent, he gradually improved over time. He never lost his faith in God and resumed writing eventually. Andre Dubus died of a cardiac attack at the age of 62 on February 24, 1999.
Estimated Net Worth
Andre Dubus III is one of the wealthiest and most well-known novelists. Andre Dubus III has a net worth of $5 million, according to our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.