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Richard Russo, Andre Dubus III to appear together at Rockport Opera House

Courtesy of the Community Schools
Courtesy of the Community Schools
Richard Russo (left) and Andre Dubus III will speak about their work at the Rockport Opera House on Saturday, May 19, in a benefit for The Community Schools.
By Tom Groening, BDN Staff

ROCKPORT, Maine — When acclaimed writers Richard Russo and Andre Dubus III take the stage at the Rockport Opera House on Saturday, May 19, to discuss their work together and with an audience, it’s a safe bet the evening will be lively, entertaining and funny.

The event is a fundraiser for Camden’s The Community Schools.

“They’re both funny, so it should be a fun evening,” said Andrea Vassallo, development grant specialist and event coordinator for the school, which provides students an alternative to public high school. The Camden campus was established in 1973 and recently merged with Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester, founded in 1910.

“They are going to talk to each other about their works,” and especially about writing memoirs, which is the rare nonfiction work in each of their canons.

Russo, who lives in Camden, is a Pulitzer Prize winner whose novels include “Empire Falls,” for which he won the Pulitzer for fiction in 2002, “Bridge of Sighs,” “That Old Cape Magic,” “Straight Man” and “Nobody’s Fool.” He recently completed “Elsewhere: A Memoir,” Vassallo said.

Dubus III’s 1999 novel “House of Sand and Fog” was a finalist for the National Book Award and spawned a film that garnered an Academy Award nomination. His “Townie: A Memoir,” published last year, recounts growing up poor in Haverhill, Mass., after his parents divorced.

The writers will share the stage and take questions from audience members, as well as sign books, including Russo’s new collection, “Interventions,” a collaboration with his daughter, the artist Kate Russo.

Doors will open at 4 p.m. and the conversation will start at 4:30 p.m. Wine, cheese, chocolates and other Maine treats will be provided by Don and Patrisha McLean of Camden, the State of Maine Cheese Co. in Rockport, Ducktrap River of Maine, Chocolatier Blue and other local businesses, with additional support provided by Mainely Bartenders and The Hawthorne Inn.

Vassallo is encouraging those attending to arrive early to view the exhibit at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, which is next door to the opera house.

All Aboard Trolley will provide shuttle van service from the former Camden-Rockport Elementary School on West Street (across from The Market Basket at Routes 1 and 90) to The Rockport Opera House. This event is sponsored by Charles and Julie Cawley, KeyBank, Know Technology, Maine Magazine, The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, and Richard and Barbara Russo.

Tickets are $50, or $25 with student ID, and all proceeds benefit The Community Schools. Tickets are available at The Owl & Turtle Bookshop, hello hello books, Maine Coast Book Shop & Cafe, by calling 236-3000 or by visiting www.thecommunityschools.org.

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