Andre Dubus III’s new book, Dirty Love, published by W. W. Norton, collects four long stories about love and betrayal. All the main characters are held in thrall somehow by sex or passion: the project manager who stalks his unfaithful wife and obsesses ragefully over her lover, the woman whose long-held virginity has become a point of shame and pride, the teenager haunted by a sexually explicit video that surfaces online. An editor from The New Republic called the book “electrifying” and described physically ripping out its pages so she could fit it in a crammed bookbag before a subway ride.
Dubus is the author of books including The House of Sand and Fog (a finalist for the National Book Award), The Garden of Last Days, and a Townie. We discussed infidelity and marriage vows, how to write convincingly about sex, and the ways his short stories find their proper form over time. We also talked about Dubus’s memories of growing up with his famous writer father, Andre Dubus, in Iowa City–where he watched Batman with Kurt Vonnegut as a boy–and how a literary upbringing influenced his career choice.