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Stuart Wright Collection: Andre Dubus Papers, 1930-1987, undated

Manuscript Collection #1169-020

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Stuart Wright Collection: Andre Dubus Papers
Creators: Dubus, Andre, II, 1936-1999
Wright, Stuart T., 1948-
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1930-1987, undated) documenting the literary career of Andre Dubus, the noted American novelist and essayist, consisting entirely of loose manuscript materials transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection including correspondence, photographic prints, notes, advertising postcards, dust jackets, broadsides, and clippings of reviews, by or about Andre Dubus, Richard Ghormley Eberhart, and others.
Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 archival box; 9 items.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

21 June 2010, 0.003 cubic feet; 1 archival box; 9 items; 9 p. Papers (1930-1987, undated) documenting the life and literary career of Andre Dubus, the noted American novelist and essayist, including correspondence; manuscripts, photographic prints, proofs of published materials, printed material, loose manuscripts transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection and oversized materials, by or about Andre Dubus, Richard Ghormley Eberhart, and others. Vendor: Stuart Wright.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Stuart Wright Collection - Andre Dubus Papers (#1169-020) East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Acquisition Information

  • Purchased from Stuart Wright, 6/21/2010

Processing Information

  • Processed, Container List & Preliminary inventory by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Saundra Pinkham, & Douglas Tuers, revised 11/19/2010; Final inventory revised by Douglas Tuers, 2/14/2011, 4/27/2011; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, Trisha Capansky revised, 11/28/2011, 1/23/2012; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 7/5/2012; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 7/16/2012.


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Andre Dubus

Andre Dubus, II was born 11 August 1936 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, the youngest child of a Cajun-Irish Catholic family. While known as an essayist, teacher, and autobiographer, he is best known as one of the most prolific American short-story writers of the 20th century. His surname is pronounced "Duh-BYOOSE” to rhyme with "excuse." Dubus graduated from McNeese State College in 1958 as a journalism and English major. He then spent six years in the Marine Corps, eventually rising to the rank of captain. At this time he married and started a family. After leaving the Marine Corps, Dubus moved with his wife and four children to Iowa City, where he later graduated from the University of Iowa's Iowa Writers' Workshop with an MFA in creative writing.

Dubus was seriously injured in a car accident on the night of July 23, 1986 when he was hit by a car when he stopped to assist two motorists. Dubus was critically injured and both his legs were crushed. After a series of unsuccessful operations, his left leg was amputated above the knee, and he eventually lost the use of his right leg. He was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life, and he battled clinical depression as a result of his condition. Although he did write one novel, The Lieutenant, in 1967, Dubus considered himself primarily as a writer of short fiction. Dubus's collections of short stories include: Separate Flights (1975), Adultery and Other Choices (1977), Finding a Girl in America (1980), The Times Are Never So Bad (1983), Voices from the Moon (1984), The Last Worthless Evening (1986), Selected Stories (1988), Broken Vessels (1991), Dancing After Hours (1996), and Meditations from a Movable Chair (1998). He died aged 62 on 24 February 1999 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Stuart Wright

The Andre Dubus Papers were collected and compiled by Stuart T. Wright. Wright was born on 30 March 1948 in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war’s battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide “Johnny Reb” essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.

In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.

Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.

At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.

All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright’s collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.

Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 22 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The Andre Dubus Papers consists entirely of Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection. The collection contains a correspondence, photographic prints notes, advertising postcards, dust jackets, broadsides, clippings of reviews found between the leaves of books and other printed materials in the Stuart Wright Book Collection. The Andre Dubus Papers are arranged in original order in one series.

Series 1: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection consists of loose manuscripts found between the leaves of volumes in the Stuart Wright Book Collection. The material consists of notes, letters, clippings, printed material and ephemera, 1933-1987, relating to Andre Dubus, Hart Crane, Rosanna Warren, William Meredith, Sandra M. Gilbert, Douglas Lawder, Roger Donald, Richard Harteis, Ralph Thompson, Waldo Frank, Yvor Winters, Franz Kafka, Salem Slobodkin, William Empson, Virginia Bagliore, Richard Eberhart, Marc Kaminsky, Nicholas Rinaldi, Nixeon Civille Handy, Robert A. Brooks, Wallace Stevens, Richard Meade, Theodore Weiss, and their publications. The loose manuscripts are linked to the book of origin by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #38.04). Series one is held in Box 1.a – 1.f

Note to Researchers: Series 1: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection consist of items found laid in works in the Stuart Wright Book Collection by, about, associated with, or owned by Andre Dubus. They include notes and bookmarks inserted by Dubus, Stuart Wright, and others; also notes, cards, correspondence, clippings, advertising, reviews, ephemera, etc. relating to his published works. The loose manuscripts are linked to the books from which they came by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #40.15).

Related Collections Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Series 1:
Loose Manuscripts Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection
  • Box 1#1169-020.1
    • Folder a#1169-020.1.a
      Lieutenant, The, by Andre Dubus [Books] (1967) Printed. 2 items. 2 p. Note: Stuart Wright post-it note: "Inscribed to Dubus's mother" (undated) Holograph; Dust Jacket [partial] for The Lieutenant with photograph & caption of Dubus; photograph by Thomas Emery (ca. 1967) Holograph & Printed; Dust jacket is torn, fragile, needs conservation; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #52.5
    • Folder b#1169-020.1.b
      Times are Never so Bad, The, by Andre Dubus [Books] (1983) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: David R. Godine Publisher Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, advertising postcard with reader survey (ca. 1983) Printed form; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #52.8
    • Folder c#1169-020.1.c
      Adultery and Other Choices, by Andre Dubus [Books] (1977) Printed. 2 items. 2 p. Note: "Some Good Moments: Adultery and Other Choices", reviewed by Anatole Broyard, New York Times Book Review, p. 14 (20 November 1977) Clipping; "Adultery & Other Choices" News From Godine advertisement (ca. 1977) Mimeographed broadside; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #52.9
    • Folder d#1169-020.1.d
      Voices from the Moon, by Andre Dubus [Books] (1984) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: David Allender, Publicity Director, David R. Godine Publisher, Inc., Circular letter with review excerpts of Andre Dubus's novels, 1975-1984 (17 October 1984) Printed letter signed; torn, needs conservation; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #52.33
    • Folder e#1169-020.1.e
      Separate Flights, by Andre Dubus [Books] (1984) Printed. 2 items. 2 p. Note: George Core, Editor, The Sewanee Review, Letter to Stuart Wright accompanying Dubus books inscribed to him (29 March 1984) TLS; David R. Godine compliments card (ca. 1984) Printed); Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #52.34
    • Folder f#1169-020.1.f
      Finding a Girl in America: Ten Stories and a Novella, by Andre Dubus [Books] (1980) Printed. 1 item. 1 p. Note: "Books of the Times: Finding A Girl in America, by Andre Dubus" by Anatole Broyard, New York Times, p. C28 (25 June 1980) Clipping; Article an Andre Dubus; Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection #52.57
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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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