EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 29, 2013

Star actor backs out of movie based on local author's book

Andre Dubus III still hopeful film of "The Garden of Last Days" will be made


Dubus said he began writing “The Garden of Last Days’’ in 2005, after reading a story about the terrorist hijackers — and how one of them was rumored to have visited a strip club in the days before the attacks.

Dubus wanted to give the hijacker a voice and tell his side of the story. Dubus spent months researching the events of Sept. 11. He read the Koran twice for an understanding of Islam, and he read other sources including the history of Egypt and of Saudi Arabia, even books about strip clubs — 33 books in all, he said.

“The tough part was how to write from his (the hijacker’s) point of view without judgement,” Dubus said. “As Ernest Hemingway said, ‘The job of the writer is not to judge, but to seek and understand.’

“When the book came out in 2008, I don’t think the reading public was ready to step into the point of view of one of these terrorists,” Dubus said of “The Garden of Last Days.’’ “I think now that we’re more curious about what causes this kind of madness.’’

Dubus said he is working on a new novel and that his latest book — a collection of short stories titled “Dirty Love’’ — will be released in October.

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