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Andre Dubus III:
House of Sand and Fog
Andre Dubus III
  House of Sand and Fog  
Andre Dubus III    
interview

an excerpt



  Andre Dubus III has written a book that speeds along with all the force of an out-of-control train, yet he has drawn characters that are rich and complex--deeply flawed and almost heartbreakingly human in their failure to make the decisions that will set their lives back on course, characters who in turn inspire in the reader deep frustration, anger and understanding. Readers will have sympathy for everyone and for no one. The author, son of the acclaimed short story master Andre Dubus, elegantly examines the complexities of love, justice and the search for the American dream.

House of Sand and Fog is the story of three people from different cultures, all trying to regain their dignity and take control of their lives. Kathy Lazaro, a recovering cocaine addict who has recently been left by her husband, is evicted from her home for failure to pay county taxes that she does not actually owe. The county sells the house to Colonel Massoud Behrani, an Iranian immigrant who escaped the revolution only to find himself struggling for work and a sense of self-worth in America, at an auction. This bureaucratic mistake sets off a chain of events that unfolds with dramatic and horrifying results.

Deftly shifting points of view between Kathy and Behrani, the author captures each voice, different as they may be, with admirable precision. Dubus is a keen observer of different cultures and draws each character with unfailing honesty. Though their decisions are often infuriating, these characters are as real and involving as any in contemporary literature. Told with generous empathy, House of Sand and Fog is a powerful modern-day Greek tragedy that marks the arrival of a true literary star.

In this issue of Bold Type you'll find an excerpt of House of Sand and Fog and an interview with Andre Dubus III.

For more information about Andre Dubus and a Reading Group Guide for House of Sand and Fog, visit the Vintage Reading Group Center.



--Larry Weissman
 
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  Photo of Andre Dubus III copyright © Marion Ettlinger

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