We love movies set in locations we know: witness The Fighter, set in Lowell, and The Town, set in Charlestown. The appeal of the familiar works in print as well, notably Andre Dubus’ powerful memoir Townie, set in Haverhill, Newburyport and other parts of the Merrimack Valley, and Bone Blind, a mystery novel set in Newton, Wellfleet and Boston.
That he gradually overcame his reflexive primitive pugilistic ways, went to college and became an accomplished writer (author of National Book Award short-list-honored House of Sand and Fog) is remarkable, to say the least. His candid new memoir, Townie, reflects the same milieu portrayed in The Fighter. While the violence is unrelenting, it speaks to what growing up was like for many in our formerly robust mill towns in northeastern Massachusetts.
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