Andre Dubus Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Although Andre Dubus wrote an early novel, The Lieutenant (1967), which is highly regarded by some critics and readers, and a novella, Voices from the Moon (1984), which has been printed separately, his most important contributions to literature are his shorter works. Besides his fiction, Dubus wrote two well-received books of autobiographical essays.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Andre Dubus’s literary career is notable in the way it stands outside the shifting fashions of the American literary scene. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, when the “postmodernism” of Donald Barthelme, John Barth, and Thomas Pynchon was creating a highly self-conscious, self-reflective literature that often used its own craft to explore itself, Dubus remained a committed realist, at his best when he used his craft to explore the lives of his characters. During the period when the so-called minimalist stories of writers such as Raymond Carver, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Lorrie Moore came into literary prominence, Dubus remained what might be called a “maximalist” writer, who seemed most at home in the form of the long story, or novella. In a period of shifting male and female definitions, Dubus wrote often about the waywardness of people who continue to define themselves by concepts of masculinity and femininity that the world around them no longer values. Not least of all, in an age of secular values, Dubus often looks to the sacraments of the Catholic Church to find deep values.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Breslin, John B. “Playing Out of the Patterns of Sin and Grace: The Catholic Imagination of Andre Dubus.” Commonweal 115 (December 2, 1988): 652-656. An interesting analysis of the Catholic themes in Dubus’s literature, written for a lay audience. Breslin focuses particularly on Dubus’s early novel, The Lieutenant, the trilogy of stories dealing with Hank Allison (“We Don’t Live Here Anymore,” “Adultery,” and “Finding a Girl in America”), and “A Father’s Story.”

Cocchiarale, Michael. “The Complicated Catholicism of Andre Dubus.” In Songs of the New South: Writing Contemporary Louisiana, edited by Suzanne D. Green and Lisa Abney. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001. Discusses Dubus’s writing in the context of Catholicism and its role in the complex morality of his characters.

Feeney, Joseph J. “Poised for Fame: Andre Dubus at Fifty.” America 155 (November 15, 1986): 296-299. Using the occasion of Dubus’s fiftieth birthday, the author provides a general introduction to the man, his writing, and his major themes. Written for an audience he assumes to be generally unfamiliar with Dubus’s fiction, this article presents the major themes of Dubus’s fiction without exploring them in depth.

Ferriss, Lucy. “Andre Dubus: ‘Never Truly Members.’” In Southern Writers at Century’s End, edited by Jeffery J. Folks and James A. Perkins. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1997. Discusses several short stories with a focus on Dubus’s concerns with Roman Catholic sexual politics,...

(The entire section is 694 words.)