Jon Crispin's Notebook

Andre Dubus III for Poets & Writers

Posted in Art, Writers by joncrispin on 03/09/2013

I have been getting a lot of great assignments from Poets & Writers lately.  This past Friday I drove out to Eastern Massachusetts to meet and photograph Andre Dubus III.  I had read quite a few reviews of his memoir “Townie” and was aware of his earlier novel  “House of Sand and Fog”.  I had a wonderful time with him and got some really nice photographs.  While I can’t put up any of the shots of him here until the story runs in the magazine, I can show these.  / I always ask writers about how they physically create their work.  I have lots of  photographs of fingers tapping away at keyboards (both typewriter and computer),and shots of hands holding pens over paper.  Andre is the first writer I have photographed who writes with pencil, and he was most happy to talk about his favorite.  It is a Palomino Blackwing 602.  I usually do an internet search for things about which I know little, and I found an interesting wikipedia entry about this particular pencil.  Here is the link.

As you can see, he writes in lined composition notebooks.  It is so interesting how entire books come out of this process.  /  In all ways was he was a most generous subject.  He inscribed a copy of “Townie” for me and gave me a collection of his father’s short stories.  I have just about finished the memoir and it is both harrowing and completely engaging.  I’ll start on his dad’s stories next. /  Huge thanks to P&W for the assignment and to Andre for an amazing experience.  The story is scheduled to run in the November/December issue, and I will put up a link and some of my photographs when it is out.

3 Responses

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  1. Normandi Ellis said, on 03/09/2013 at 9:01 pm

    Lucky you. I love both father and son’s works. I admire such precise writers with unique points of view. And the pencil does the trick.

  2. KLJ said, on 03/09/2013 at 10:02 pm

    The House of Sand and Fog – one of my all time faves.

  3. Alisa said, on 05/09/2013 at 11:56 am

    Two classic, heartbreaking stories from the father: A Father’s Story and The Fat Girl. It was mindblowing to me how well he understood the girl’s point of view. What a wonderful job you have!


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