In his lifetime, Andre Dubus was lauded for his highly realistic and captivating portraits of ordinary Americans. Honored throughout his long career by numerous and prestigious awards, his stories were often included in the pantheon of best American short stories.
His important role in the literary community was demonstrated in the late 1980s, after he was struck by a car while helping stranded motorists. The accident led to the loss of his leg and confinement in a wheelchair. In the ensuing years, Dubus came to see this accident as a transcendent experience, one that broadened his capacity for understanding human suffering and forgiveness.
‘‘The Fat Girl,’’ a story that was included in Dubus’s 1978 collection, Adultery and Other Choices, has been deemed one of his best short stories. Many reviewers praised his depiction of a young woman, Louise, torn between conflicting desires. Her plight has a universal quality in her quest for self-love and understanding.