On Thursday, February 1, author Andre Dubus III came to St. Sebastian’s as part of the Visiting Writer series, speaking to juniors and seniors in the morning, then visiting Mr. Adams’ sophomore English class, Mr. McCarthy’s freshman English class, and Mr. White's and Mr. Richter’s senior writing classes.
Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, and two Pushcart Prizes. He’s also a recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. He’s written nine books, including the novel House of Sand and Fog, a #1 New York Times bestseller that was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film, and the memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller, a New York Times "Editors Choice,” and—perhaps its most prestigious honor—a summer read assigned to juniors at St. Sebastian's. Mr. Dubus teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and he has a collection of personal essays, Ghost Dogs: On Killers and Kin, coming out in March.
He spoke to the students about his childhood in working-class Haverhill, MA, his turn to boxing and violence as a way to fight perceived injustice, and his eventual embrace of creative writing as a way out of that violent life. Our young writers were surprised by Mr. Dubus’s willingness to be so open and honest and inspired by his message. “Do the thing that makes you feel more like you than anything else,” he told the students.