Local author Andre Dubus III has been in good company in recent years.
His popular books have put him alongside internationally known writers on best-seller lists. You might say his writing has a special voice that lures readers.
Now Dubus has landed in the company of other celebrities — people like Billy Crystal, Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker and Dolly Parton. This time it’s not his writing, but his voice — literally — that put him there. He is a finalist in a national voice awards competition for narrating his literature for recordings.
Dubus, longtime of Haverhill and now of Newbury, is a finalist in the 2014 Audie Awards.
Several of the annual awards are given to narrators considered to project the best voices while reading literature recorded for people who wish to listen to stories. Some, like Dubus, read their own work for the recordings.
The Audies are the only awards in the United States devoted entirely to honoring audiobooks and spoken word entertainment.
Dubus is a finalist in the Short Stories/Collections category. He is nominated for his readings from “The Cage Keeper and Other Stories,’’ his collection of short stories published in 1989. One of the stories, “Forky’’ was previously published in Playboy magazine in 1985 and won the National Magazine Award in Fiction that year.
Dubus said he is thankful he did some acting early in his career. He said that helped him develop a voice that works well in narration.
“In my early 20s, when I began writing creatively, I also did quite a bit of acting and studied it as well,’’ he said. “When I narrate my audio books, I get to use those old acting tools, which I think of as being pretty rusty, so its quite a thrill to be nominated for an Audie Award with all these wonderful performing pros.’’