Andre Dubus III lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.
In his second novel (after Bluesman, LJ 5/15/93), the son of noted writer Andre Dubus manages to get deep inside the heads of two very different characters who clash over a modest house in the San Francisco suburbs. Kathy is a recovering alcoholic and cokehead who loses her inherited bungalow for alleged nonpayment of taxes. Behmini, an Iranian who was an officer in the Shah's air force before fleeing the revolution, is now struggling to succeed in the United States. He buys the house at auction, planning to make a profit on the resale. Kathy skulks around the neighborhood and eventually confronts the family. When she becomes sexually involved with the policeman she met at her eviction, a married man with bad judgment and a drinking problem of his own, he takes up her cause with explosive results. Dubus's attention to detail and realistic prose style give the narrative a hard-edged, cinematic quality, but unlike many movies, its outcome is unexpected. Recommended for all fiction collections.ÄReba Leiding, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA
Dubus has created a novel that is nearly perfectly suited to the audio format. Kathy Nicolo is a recovering addict whose husband has left her and who is making her way in the straight world with her own cleaning business. When her house in the California hills is mistakenly seized by the county for back taxes and sold at public auction, she finds herself living out of her car and on the brink of desperation. Once a wealthy and powerful man in Iran and a colonel in the army under the Shah's rule, Behrani is now a struggling immigrant who hopes that he can sell the house for a large profit, so that he can once again provide his family with a lifestyle like the one they enjoyed in Iran. Emotions take precedence over ethics, logic, love and the law as their paths collide in a surprising and tragic conclusion. The reading by the author and his wife is sublime. Dubus's performance as the hot-headed Behrani is frightening in its intensity. His wife captures Kathy's dispassionate disbelief with a flat distance that is as effectively realistic as it is palpable. Based on the Norton hardcover. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"A page-turner with a beating heart." --"The Boston Globe""A mixture of classical tragedy perfectly imbued with film noir.... House of Sand and Fog is the work of a writer who is the real thing." --"The Baltimore Sun""Elegant and powerful.... An unusual and volatile literary thriller." --"The Washington Post Book World""House of Sand and Fog is one of the best American novels I've ever read." --James Lee Burke