In this page-turning, breathtaking novel, the characters will walk off the page and into your life. And a small house will seem like the most important piece of territory in the world.
On a road crew in California, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force under the Shah yearns to restore his family's dignity. When an attractive bungalow comes available on county auction for a fraction of its value, he sees a great opportunity for himself, his wife, and his children. But the house's former owner, a recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck, doesn't see it that way, nor does her lover, a married cop driven to extremes to win her love and get her house back.
Dubus has an extraordinary ability to get us inside each of his characters, to see the world as it is for each of them. These are people with ordinary flaws, people just looking for a small piece of ground to stand on, driven by the same needs into inevitable conflict—a conflict in which even the reader, rooting for all of them, has no safe haven.
Unfolding relentlessly from its tense and colorful first lines, House of Sand and Fog is a narrative triumph. It turns both the traditional immigrant success story and a modern love story upside down with a heartrending outcome, in a masterstroke of American realism and Shakespearean consequence. It is an American tragedy, and a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.
Analogizing Oz to Law School, this article discusses the role of orientation in the law school curriculum and offers implementation strategies to develop an effective orientation. An effective and comprehensive orientation program for law school would have many goals: it should attempt to construct the profession as a calling; create syntactical, substantive, and pedagogical context; communicate care and model empathy and compassion; cultivate community to promote mutual respect, cultural competence, and interdependence; and confirm student self-confidence. In addition to explaining why these are important goals, the article explores possible ways of achieving those goals. It ends with models of different programs. The purpose of the article is to encourage law schools to redesign their orientation program to embody the specific mission of the school and incorporate practices that enhance the law school experience, enrich the educational process, encourage professional formation, and ensure that students find their way over the rainbow.