Broken Vessels

Andre Dubus, Author
Andre Dubus, Author David R. Godine Publisher $19.95 (195p) ISBN 978-0-87923-885-8
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Fiction writer Dubus ( Finding a Girl in America ) writes with searing candor, grace and tenderness in these autobiographical essays. He celebrates the small daily sacraments of love, recalls growing up in Cajun-Creole Louisiana, gauges the sadness of America while riding a Boston-San Francisco train and describes an encounter with a ghost in a house in Provincetown, Mass. Several pieces deal with topics reminiscent of his short stories, such as an act of violence against a rose-eating sheep or the trial of a punk accused of assaulting a 15-year-old girl. One fluid meditation links the existential challenge of being a writer to a paean to womanhood. The powerful closing section focuses on the 1986 car accident that crippled Dubus, leading to the breakup of his marriage and enforced separation from his two small daughters. His account of this tragedy is intense, heartbreaking yet ultimately triumphant. A soul-baring self-portrait, this magical volume contains some of the finest personal essays in recent memory. (July)