Ghost Dogs: On Killers and Kin

Andre Dubus

Book cover for Ghost Dogs: On Killers and Kin
Book cover for Ghost Dogs: On Killers and Kin

Ghost Dogs: On Killers and Kin

Ghost Dogs: On Killers and Kin

Andre Dubus

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During childhood summers in Louisiana, Andre Dubus III's grandfather taught him that men's work is hard. As an adult, whether tracking down a drug lord in Mexico as a bounty hunter or grappling with privilege while living with a rich girlfriend in New York City, Dubus worked--at being a better worker and a better human being.

In Ghost Dogs, Dubus's nonfiction prowess is on full display in his retelling of his own successes, failures, triumphs, and pain. In his longest essay, "If I Owned a Gun," Dubus reflects on the empowerment and shame he felt in keeping a gun, and his decision, ultimately, to give it up. Elsewhere, he writes of a violent youth and of settled domesticity and fatherhood, about the omnipresent expectations and contradictions of masculinity, about the things writers remember and those they forget. Drawing upon kindred literary spirits from Rilke to Rumi to Tim O'Brien, Ghost Dogs renders moments of personal revelation with emotional generosity and stylistic grace, ultimately standing as essential witness and testimony to the art of the essay.

Critical Reviews

As a whole, the essays plumb great emotional depths. Strictly speaking, Andre Dubus III's estimable gift for words may not be in his DNA, but as this book reveals, it's at the core of who he is as a human being.--Harvey Freedenberg "BookPage"

Andre Dubus III is a literary treasure. These tender, elegant essays come to us directly from his battered heart, his noble soul, his powerful reckoning with the legacy of his childhood. To read this book is to touch the pulsing core of what it is to be human.--Dani Shapiro, author of Signal Fires

Andre Dubus III's idea of an essay is tantalizingly simple: tell something important that happened to him--suddenly having big money and not knowing quite how to cope with that, loving his long-divorced parents, growing up poor and outlasting it, not loving his dog as much as he worries he should. Here is human life often cloaked in transporting mystery. Dubus possesses a rare and empathetic brilliance.--Richard Ford

This may be the best book you'll read in years.--Bill Heavy "Wall Street Journal"

Andre Dubus III is a poet of masculinity. In the lyrical autobiographical essays of Ghost Dogs, he limns not toxic masculinity but its opposite: a masculinity rooted in family life, love, and hope...In carefully crafted words, Dubus III both records and enacts his transcendence of the often brutal facts of his upbringing and our time.--Elissa Greenwald "New York Journal of Books"

Dubus' sentences glide on a level pitch seamlessly dovetailing into the poetically poignant. Within Dubus' vast heart lies a pugilist intent on defeating his own demons.--Bill Kelly "Booklist (starred review)"

Publishing Information

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pub date: 2024-03-05
Length: 288 pages

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