Dubus explores quest for love
The latest release from Andre Dubus III is more satisfying than a collection of short stories but a bit less satisfying than a novel. His publisher calls “Dirty Love” a collection of novellas, and they're fabulous. Tenuously tied together by common characters, the longest stories are the bookends. “Listen Carefully as Our Options Have Changed,” the opening story, explores an unhappy marriage and two cheating spouses. And in the last, “Dirty Love,” a teenage girl tries to escape the notoriety of appearing in a sex video that goes viral.
Depressing? Of course. At times, gritty? Definitely. And, yes, there's a lot of sex. But if you enjoy Dubus, you'll enjoy “Dirty Love” because his writing is as gorgeous as ever. And his insight into damaged relationships and real people begging for love is spot on.
In “Marla,” the main character complains about her live-in boyfriend's playing video games: “Marla felt the same bruised emptiness that she did after an action movie, and she'd kiss Dennis on the forehead and leave the room while he kept playing.”
Or Devon, the humiliated girl who chooses to live with her uncle because her parents can't get past their anger about the sex tape, when she finds love: “Francis has seen it over and over again, the girl in the corner whose new radiance shines not from the boy who has found her but from the chance to direct all the love that's been pooling inside her and now it's a warm flowing stream.”
“Dirty Love” will remind you that everyone's searching, but not everyone finds love.
Kim Curtis is a staff writer for the Associated Press.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.