A sense of impending doom pervades the work of writer Andre Dubus III. In House of Sand and Fog, which was made into a 2003 Oscar-nominated film, a desperate young American woman and a proud Iranian military man destroy one another's lives as they battle for ownership of a house that becomes a symbol for everything she's lost and everything he's worked for. A similar series of tragic misunderstandings and miscommunications drives his latest novel, The Garden of Last Days (W.W. Norton & Co.). Told from a multitude of perspectives—including those of a stripper, an elderly widow, a three-year-old child, a bouncer, and a terrorist—the story contrasts a deeply personal crisis with a national tragedy about to unfold. Dubus spent months researching Saudi Arabian culture and the 9/11 hijackers to pen this tale, which uses the standard thriller plot of a kidnapping as a launching point to explore a quieter, far more malevolent threat lurking in plain sight. The author will be on hand to read from and discuss his latest book, now in paperback, at the Loft. He will be introduced by Shawn Lawrence Otto, the multi-talented Minnesotan who adapted House of Sand and Fog for the screen with director Vadim Perelman.
Mon., June 8, 7 p.m., 2009