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THE CAGEKEEPER & OTHER STORIES
In the tradition of William Kennedy’s Ironweed and Grace Paley’s Later the Same Day, Andre Dubus III portrays characters on the edge of society. With compelling power he tells of the prison guard in “The Cage Keeper” who is kidnapped and terrorized by the one man in “the cage” whom he felt was his friend; of the young woman in “Duckling Girl” who, in order to escape her father’s abuse, hangs out with two young men from town who also ultimately abuse her; of the waitress in “Mountains” who betrays her lover, a Vietnam vet whom she both loves and abhors. In one of the most startling stories, “Forky,” a man just out of prison experiences his first day of freedom after seven years in the lockup.
Andre Dubus III creates a world that is gritty, tough, and emotionally gripping. His stories revolve around the themes of passion and betrayal; of ambivalent love that hinges upon hatred; and of his characters’ quest for acceptance into and ultimately rejecting society. The Cage Keeper is certainly the beginning of a remarkable career.
2014 Audie Finalist Nominee
Andre Dubus III was nominated for narration of The Cage Keeper and Other Stories.
“The Cage Keeper and Other Stories is a wondrous debut by a fresh and bold young writer. But Andre Dubus III writes with the wisdom of age: sorrow and compassion are the marrow of these tough, delicate, utterly human stories.
In many voices, each entirely his own, Dubus testifies in behalf of the lost soul who, over and over again, finds and insists on itself. His renderings of the natural world are fierce and fine. These pages of sharp, unsentimental prose echo with laud and keening, for all we perpetuate and crave, for all we must endure.”
-Susan Dodd, author of No Earthly Notion and Maman
“In his first collection, Dubus displays a firm grasp of the requirements of satisfying short fiction and a wide-ranging eye tightly focused on the telling detail…Often violent, given to drink, vulnerable to sexual desire, Dubus’s characters are equally capable of compassion and love. No unessential information diminishes the impact of these stories, but what does matter—to both characters and readers—is grippingly and generously portrayed.”
“These are terrific stories, rich in drama, tough and unsparing in their exploration of the last mile in the human journey. There is a burden to these stories, a sense of the terrible weight borne by characters who have traveled too long and too far. Too many betrayals, too many lost loves, too many drinks along the way. Here, in this superb collection, we encounter people who are approaching collapse, who must either break or find new stamina and new courage. Though this is a first book, Andre Dubus III displays both the skills and the seriousness of intent of a mature storyteller.”
-Tim O’Brien, author of Going After Cacciato and The Nuclear Age
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Andre Dubus III [has] a talent for delineating the everyday pathos of obscure, unglamorous lives.”
-The New York Times Book Review
“Trigger-tight, gritty and sensitive…Dubus delivers these timely yet timeless stories with compassion.”