Broken Vessels: Essays
AbeBooks Member Since 1996
AbeBooks Member Since 1996
About this Item
Title: Broken Vessels: Essays
Publisher: David R. Godine
Publication Date: 1991
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
About this title
Written between 1977 and 1990, universally acclaimed when they appeared in Godine hardcover, and exploring subjects close to home and close to the bone, these twenty-two diverse essays reveal the spiritual strength and shrewdly lyrical prose for which Andre Dubus has been recognized worldwide.
Personal but never indulgent, sensitive but never maudlin, these forays into Dubus's past and present conjure up small worlds: a Catholic boyhood in Cajun Louisiana, the transcendental quality of baseball, the luck and slipperiness of life, the precarious business of making a living by writing. These worlds are presented in a voice that is as powerful as it is poignant, that never flinches from the stark realities that have so colored Dubus's recent past and personal life. Especially moving are his descriptions of his children, his wrenching account of the 1986 automobile accident that cost him his leg, and of the ensuing struggle for his spiritual and physical survival.
Broken Vessels is a book that, in its scope and sympathy, its grace and courage, never fails to startle with the sudden impact of quiet truths, passionately felt and powerfully expressed.
Broken Vessels, Andre Dubus's first collection of essays, was written between 1977 and 1990. During this period, Dubus hit his peak as an essayist, survived an accident that almost destroyed his will to write, and went on to regain and exceed his earlier power as a writer. Reading this book is almost as rich an experience as meeting a fascinating person: you'll learn the best way to scramble eggs, why baseball is a transcendental experience, the risks and rewards of idealistic poverty, and what it's like to see ghosts. Dubus writes as a Catholic, and most of his essays speak explicitly of the sacramental nature of his everyday experiences. Particularly effective are the essays describing Dubus's struggle to recover from a traffic accident that occurred after he stopped to help stranded motorists on a roadside in 1986. "Lights of the Long Night" is among the best of these, containing the kind of writing that makes you close the book immediately, knowing you've seen so deeply into a person's soul that you have to sit with what you've learned and wait for some sense of how to respond before you're entitled to keep turning the pages. --Michael Joseph Gross
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