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Townie: A Memoir

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


"Dubus relives, absent self-pity or blame, a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness." —Vanity Fair

After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their overworked mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of "townies" and the ambitions of students debating books and ideas, couldn’t have been more stark. In this unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others—bridging, in the process, the rift between his father and himself.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 13, 2010 – Long before he became the highly acclaimed author of House of Sand and Fog, Dubus shuffled and punched his way through a childhood and youth full of dysfunction, desperation, and determination. Just after he turned 12, Dubus s family fell rapidly into shambles after his father the prominent writer Andre Dubus not only left his wife for a younger woman but also left the family in distressing poverty on the violent and drug-infested side of their Massachusetts mill town. For a few years, Dubus escaped into drugs, embracing the apathetic no-way-out attitude of his friends. After having his bike stolen, being slapped around by some of the town s bullies, and watching his brother and mother humiliated by some of the town s thugs, Dubus started lifting weights at home and boxing at the local gym. Modeling himself on the Walking Tall sheriff, Buford Pusser, Dubus paid back acts of physical violence with physical violence. Ultimately, he decided to take up his pen and write his way up from the bottom and into a new relationship with his father. In this gritty and gripping memoir, Dubus bares his soul in stunning and page-turning prose.

Customer Reviews


This is a great book, a remarkable story written by an outstanding writer.

I never write reviews but took the time because this book is so good..

Fighting To Be Understood

A well written account of a man who felt pushed to physical violence by his surroundings and upbringing. The author offers insight into the justifications he gave himself to commit vigilante acts of violence against wrongdoers while ultimately coming to the realization that he owns ultimate responsibility for his own actions. Dubis battles perceived evils, earns hollow victories and finally discovers true gratification following in his fathers footsteps.


Excellent read. A man's life revealed as compelling as this is rare. I am glad he came to the realization about the negativity that violence creates. All small cities in middle America have youths that are lost because of broken families. It seems certain that Andre will do a better job insulating his children while helping them understand that diversity in our society does not have to lead to disfunction.

Townie: A Memoir
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Feb 23, 2011
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • Seller: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings