Touching, gripping, and mesmerizing, Townie is an exceptional achievement. Recommended By Jill O. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. In this unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others—bridging, in the process, the rift between his father and himself.
In this gritty and gripping memoir, Dubus bares his soul in stunning and page-turning prose. Powerful, haunting. Beautifully written and bursting with life. He lives with his family north of Boston.
COM Terms Did they think of my family as townies? I remember once asking my mother -- who was in bed with a sick headache on a Saturday afternoon -- if I could go to my friend Terri-Anne's house which was a ridiculously sprawling Italianate bungalow in the woods and my mother flipped out on me, yelling, "They may look like they have it all young lady, but I could tell you stories I just wanted to see my friend.cedenlydiba.cf/how-to-home-improvements/more-desire-unwanted-five-reluctant.pdf
ISBN 13: 9781441781581
To be fair, it was cool that Terri-Anne started teaching me to play piano at her house and she was the first person -- only person, really -- that I knew with an Atari. Laurie's father was a contractor and they lived in an actual mansion in the country. Lori moved up from West Virginia and they lived in the first subdivision of mansions I ever saw on a street with a ridiculous name like "Castle Way" or something and their house had a pretentious beauty pageant vibe.
Andrea's Dad was a lawyer and they lived in an ultra-modern bungalow on Lake Simcoe, complete with sailboat and dock.
Interview: Andre Dubus III, author of Townie: A Memoir | Memoirville
I couldn't help that these were my friends. As shabby as Stouffville felt, I did have a friend who lived in a shabbier place: Becky lived at Musselman Lake, in what was essentially a winterized cottage.
I loved it there, it was kind of like a Hobbit hole, but it was very small and the vibe out at the lake was even sketchier than in town. The Whelan brothers lived out there and I was always wary of leaving Becky's house in case John Whelan might be around, leaning against some lamp post, sneering obscenities at us. If my mother ever got the vibe that maybe Becky's family was a bad influence, she would have been right: her parents were total hippies who let their girls run wild, her Mom reading tarot cards and teaching us about her Ouija board, and her Dad being the first person to give me a drink he asked me and Becky if we wanted to split a beer once when we were 11 or 12 -- half a beer got me drunk and it was a good thing I was sleeping over that night.
My Dad's friends were all creepy hillbillies at that time, too, including Garth; a bearded country bumpkin who I was uncomfortable to be alone with. Once, as I was coming down the stairs, he looked at me and said, "You look real good when you have your hands in your pockets like that. You should stand like that all the time. I know, in addition to outright avoiding Garth, I made a point of never standing with my hands in my pockets around him.
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And honestly, I don't think my own girls know this kind of shabbiness; this neglect and want; this fear of being around the creepy and the leering; this awareness of coming from a house of shit-smeared walls. And it's not a money issue -- their Dad doesn't come from money, but he had a safe and happy childhood.
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The one year that Ken went to Stouffville High was a disaster for him, with him cutting classes and smoking pot daily. He got into so much trouble that moving to Lethbridge was partially meant to give him a fresh start, and it was a fresh start we all needed although Kyler blew it the first day of school: moving to Alberta made him think he should wear cowboy boots and, while mockingly calling him "Tex", these new bullies had an immediate reason to beat up the new kid.
Our house in Lethbridge wasn't large or luxurious, but since it was the nicest place we had ever lived in until that point, it certainly felt like an upgrade. And happily in Lethbridge, class distinctions seemed to disappear; I felt like I came from neither a richer or poorer family than any of my friends, for though my Dad would have made more money than any of their fathers, he spent less of it on us and I soon had my own job, my own money, and none of that mattered anymore. Could the explanation be as simple as the fact that we all lived in town?
We were all townies? And yet still , Ken will say to me that he's just a hillbilly at heart, and he and Kyler both drive ridiculously impractical pickup trucks, and I can only think that's the long fingers of a shabby Stouffville childhood maintaining their shit-smeared grip on my brothers. Again, what a crappy place to grow up.
As an interesting tie-in, in the recently read On Chesil Beach , the Edward character was from a small, rural town and the biggest challenge he had had when moving to London was to suppress his urge to look for barroom brawls; he liked brawling, he had a hair trigger, but he knew that it marked him as a member of a lower class. It makes me think that the "townie" is a universal condition and that's interesting knowledge to come to at my age.