Leslie in California / by Andre Dubus. Dubus, Andre, (Author). General Note: “This copy of Leslie in California is number 87 in an edition limited to. mar Leslie in California Introduction The short story “Leslie in California”, is written by Andre Dubus in The short story “Leslie in California” is. ANDRE DUBUS’S fourth collection of short stories derives its title from a In ” Leslie in California” a young wife broods over the fact that her.

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He thanked me for thanking his dad. He pours two cups, takes his to the table, and sits with a cigarette. He gets out of bed, and still I smell beer in the cold air. Email required Address never made public.

Time and again, Dubus explored how normal people struggled with the complexities of their desires. Friend, admirer, and fellow short story devotee Tobias Wolff wrote in his afterword to Andre Dubus: I’m sorry to have read this so long after it was published.

I go to his plate and scoop all the beans on his egg yellow. I put water on the stove and get bacon and eggs and milk from the ice chest. A sweater, a blouse, okay? Once, before I met him, he was in the water with a swordfish.

Drawing conclusions is up to the jury, that is, the readers.

The Art of Reading Andre Dubus: We Don’t Have to Live Great Lives | Poets & Writers

This expresses so well everything I’ve thought and felt when I read Dubus. They are always dry, but at night everything is wet. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: I turn the bacon.

I lay the bacon on the paper towel and open the door to pour out some of the grease; I look at the steps before I go out. I get drunk like that, and somebody crazy takes over. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Dad was happy about us going to California; he talked about sourdough bread and fresh fruit and vegetables all year.

The artist is not meant to be a judge of his characters and what they say; his only job is to be an impartial witness.


The coffee makes me pee, and I leave the flashlight and walk through the living room that smells of beer and ashtrays and is grey now, so I can see a beer can on the arm of a chair.

When he did tackle fiction again, what he wrote—the stories that would become Dancing After Hours —could easily have callfornia into bitterness and self-pity. They will be gone five days, maybe more, and if he comes back with money we can have electricity anxre. He has a bald spot the size of a quarter.

Dubus trusted his characters so much that he gave his stories over to them. The first time I met Dubus III in person, he told me about the unexpected way his father had influenced his art. We came across country in an old Ford he worked on till it ran like it was young again.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Birds are singing, or whatever it is they do. I hear a car coming up the road, shifting down and turning into the driveway, then the horn. About a year after I discovered Dancing After HoursI sleuthed out a mailing address for Dubus and wrote him a letter of gratitude. He comes to me and hugs me from behind, rubbing my hips through the robe, his breath sour beer with mint. The fiction writer Ann Beattie has long lsslie Dubus and says his stories go far beyond simply giving female characters equal attention and power.

On July 23,while driving home from Boston, Dubus stopped to help Luz anrre Luis Santiago, a brother and sister from Puerto Rico who had collided with a motorcycle that had been abandoned on the highway. I turn around and look up at him, and he steps back.

For the first three months out here he could not get on a boat, then yesterday he found one that was short a man, so last night he celebrated. Joshua Bodwell is a Maine-based journalist and fiction writer.

I sit in the bathroom where it is darkest, and the seat is cold. My first words of the day, and my voice sounds like dry crying. I get up shivering in my nightgown and put on my robe and go by flashlight to the kitchen, where there is some light from the sky. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.


I go through the living room and think about cleaning it, and open the front door and look out through the screen. They are going out for sharks. I clear my throat and grip califlrnia robe closer around it.

He touches my eye with ice wrapped in a dish towel. Two bobcats were at the edge of the camp; they wanted the deer hides by the scales, and I went to them saying here, kitty, here, kitty. Through the window above the stove I can see the hills now, dark humps against the sky.

His blond beard is damp, his eyes are bloodshot, and his mouth opens as he looks. I heard two Russians in a muddled conversation about pessimism, a conversation that solved nothing; all I am bound to do is reproduce that conversation exactly as I heard it.

The Art of Reading Andre Dubus: We Don’t Have to Live Great Lives

I lower my face from the ice; for awhile he stands behind me, and I watch the eggs and listen to the grease and his breathing and the birds, then he goes to the chest and I hear the towel and ice drop in.

Such a plot could easily become soap opera, but with his plain language and astute characterization Dubus weaves a tale that leaves the reader feeling, if not affection, then at least empathy for every member of the family. The best of his work leaves us feeling uneasy and vulnerable from the shock of recognition—nervous that this man not only knows our secrets, but that he might understand them better than we do.

I break them into the skillet and he stands behind me, holding the ice on my eye. I know his mouth and throat are dry, and probably he has a headache. A few weeks later I learned that, at the age of sixty-two, Dubus had died of heart failure.

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