Film screening celebrates Andre Dubus re-issues

Sissy Spacek in ‘In the Bedroom.”
Miramax Films/Reuters/file
Sissy Spacek in ‘In the Bedroom.”

To celebrate publisher David R. Godine’s re-issues of three short-story collections by acclaimed Massachusetts writer Andre Dubus, the Brattle Theater on Wednesday is screening “In the Bedroom,” the 2001 crime drama based on one of Dubus’s stories, and the film’s director, Todd Field, will answer questions afterward.

“It’s time to bring Dubus to a new audience,” said Sue Berger Ramin, associate publisher at Godine.

Two of the re-issued collections will be published Wednesday, and the third is slated for publication in October. The collections, which feature new cover art, include writings by Dubus from 1966 to his death in 1999 at the age of 62. Each book will also have new introductions written by Ann Beattie, Richard Russo, and Tobias Wolff.


“In the Bedroom,” based on Dubus’s story “Killings,” was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Tom Wilkinson), and Best Actress (Sissy Spacek). The movie follows a family in mid-coast Maine riven by tragedy as the college-aged son falls in love with an older woman with children.

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Though born in Louisiana, Dubus moved to Haverhill in 1966 to teach at Bradford College. His first published collection, “Separate Flights,” came out in 1975. Dubus, an ex-Marine, completed seven collections of short fiction, often focused on the inner lives of ordinary people in depressed mill towns struggling with grief, violence, and substance abuse - a theme Joyce Carol Oates noted Dubus handled with “extraordinary sympathy.”

Much admired by other writers, Dubus received MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for his 1996 collection “Dancing After Hours.”

His son, writer Andre Dubus III, author of the 1999 novel “House of Sand and Fog,” is expected to attend Wednesday’s screening..

Godine, who published Dubus’s first story collection in 1975, had high praise for the author.


“His stories were touching, they were local, they spoke to the heart, and they spoke to New England,” the publisher said. “They all started quite mysteriously, but by the end of the story, he managed to tie them all together, often in a surprising or moving away.”

Graham Ambrose

Graham Ambrose can be reached at