Broken Vessels, Andre Dubus's first collection of essays, was written between 1977 and 1990. During this period, Dubus hit his peak as an essayist, survived an accident that almost destroyed his will to write, and went on to regain and exceed his earlier power as a writer. Reading this book is almost as rich an experience as meeting a fascinating person: you'll learn the best way to scramble eggs, why baseball is a transcendental experience, the risks and rewards of idealistic poverty, and what it's like to see ghosts. Dubus writes as a Catholic, and most of his essays speak explicitly of the sacramental nature of his everyday experiences. Particularly effective are the essays describing Dubus's struggle to recover from a traffic accident that occurred after he stopped to help stranded motorists on a roadside in 1986. "Lights of the Long Night" is among the best of these, containing the kind of writing that makes you close the book immediately, knowing you've seen so deeply into a person's soul that you have to sit with what you've learned and wait for some sense of how to respond before you're entitled to keep turning the pages. --Michael Joseph Gross
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1991 : USA Hardback
January 1993 : UK Hardback
December 1994 : UK Paperback
January 1991 : USA Paperback