Memoir reveals how author went from streetfighter to writer

Andre Dubus III
Andre Dubus III, who won international acclaim for his novel "The House of Sand and Fog," reveals his hardscrabble roots in his memoir "Townie." The book describes how Dubus dealt with his frustrations as a young man, often with his fists. Dubus also reveals how he was transformed when he discovered writing as safer and more satisfying way of dealing with his world.
MPR Photo/Euan Kerr

Writer Andre Dubus said he was a small child, who wore glasses, and liked adverbs.

That, and growing up in a tough Massachussetts mill town, got him beaten up a lot.

The author of the internationally acclaimed "House of Sand and Fog" reveals in his memoir, "Townie," how he learned to live by his fists.

And then one day, something just snapped in him that led him to becoming a writer.

Andre Dubus reads from "Townie," and more in this interview from MPR News reporter Euan Kerr, including how Dubus hopes his children will read the book — but not for many years.

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