The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has acquired the papers of American writer Andre Dubus (1936-1999). Dubus was widely considered a master of the short story. His story collections include “Separate Flights” (1975), “Adultry and Other Choices” (1977), “Finding a Girl in America” (1980), “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” (1984) and “Dancing After Hours: Stories” (1996), among others.
“We are delighted to be the home of this important archive,” said Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley. “Andre Dubus was one of the writers, along with Raymond Carver and others, who brought the American short story to life in the 1970s and ’80s.”
The archive contains more than 80 notebooks that span almost 20 years, with notes, poems, outlines, essays, stories and more. The collection contains typescripts, manuscripts, financial and legal papers, press clippings and correspondence with his publisher, other writers and family, including about 300 letters from Dubus to his mother over a 20-year period that make up a virtual autobiography in letters.
Dubus was injured in an accident in 1986 that eventually resulted in a leg amputation, and the collection includes notebooks with drafts of stories and notes he kept while recovering in the hospital. Many of these works were published in his short-story collection “Dancing After Hours: Stories.”
“As the second of my father’s six children, and on behalf of them all, I want to thank the Ransom Center for offering to house and care for our father’s archive,” said Andre Dubus III. “Since he was a boy in neighboring Louisiana, he had dreamed of being a writer. By the end of his life, he had become one of this country’s finest practitioners of the short story.
“I was a student at UT Austin and graduated in 1981. Pop would call me from Massachusetts, and he’d want to hear all about Austin. He was listening to a lot of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson then. When I graduated, I brought him a Hook Em’ Horns tank top to work out in. I also sent him a LONGHORNS DAD bumper sticker he then stuck to the back of his writing chair. Sometimes I’d walk into his room before he was finished working, and I’d see my Longhorn father hunched over his desk, writing slowly in pen into a bound notebook, composing one of his masterful stories, all of which will now be in Austin. We know the Ransom Center will take far better care of these gems than we ever could, and we are so grateful.”
The materials will be accessible once processed and cataloged.