Andre Dubus III was born on September 11, 1959 in Oceanside, California. He is the son of the acclaimed writer Andre Dubus, and mystery writer James Lee Burke is his cousin. Dubus attended Bradford College, where his father taught, and then switched to the University of Texas at Austin where he studied sociology, political science and economics. He dropped out of a Ph.D. program, signed on at a construction site, and began boxing. A friend convinced Dubus to start writing, and he wrote in his spare time till getting a job teaching writing at Emerson. He has also worked as a private investigator, corrections counselor, and bounty hunter, as well as various other jobs. As an actor he has appeared in numerous stage plays and three independent films. He is also a general contractor and carpenter. Dubus is the author of the story collection The Cage Keeper and other Stories and the novels Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog (which was a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award and was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film), and The Garden of Last Days. Dubus has garnered other distinctions, including a Pushcart Prize and a 1985 National Magazine Award for Fiction. He has also been published in short story anthologies, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and numerous literary reviews. Dubus teaches creative writing courses at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and has also taught writing at Harvard University and Tufts University.