My book group picked Townie and we were fortunate enough to have a field trip to The Newton Free Library to hear author Andre Dubus speak last month and read from Townie. He is an incredible speaker; engaging, funny, touching, serious, irreverent and also nice to look at (oh, you were thinking it!) and I am having trouble putting down this book – I even chose it over my iPad in jury duty hell room today although it may have been easier to concentrate on the iPad in that small, loud space). I also grew up in the Merrimack Valley so many of the places he writes about have a familiar ring (Zayre’s, Demoulas Markets) but luckily I don’t come from such a dark place and find it amazing to realize that his reality was so different from my own.
He writes and speaks with honesty and sensitivity about a difficult family life and his own behavior which had to be tough even this far away from it. He has a natural charismatic way about him and is sweetly down to earth and genuine. He teaches creative writing as an Associate Professor at the University of Lowell (another connection – my father taught there too, but not in the same department or even at the same time) and his class must be a joy to attend. He understands how the creative process works and the necessity of being open to the process and he described it as lovingly and respectfully as I have ever heard it described. This is a tough book to read but even more difficult to put down.
For the holiday party of our book group, Pragmatic Mom had a great idea to bring a gently used/loved book to swap at our event. Love a Yankee Grab and especially one with books! Of course it is at the same time as the Library’s Friends Holiday party, so I will make an appearance at each event.