Judge

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When beloved Judge William Dupree dies at eighty-two, he leaves his widow, two adult sons, and a more than devoted clerk to mourn him. The Judge-gentle, reserved, henpecked, and a lifelong Republican-was appointed to the United States District Court by Richard Nixon. But once on the bench, he invariably ruled for the liberal argument-pro-civil rights, pro-choice-dismaying his upper-crust Louisville, Kentucky, cronies, not to mention his wife.

Mary Louise Dupree, a nagging ...

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NO highlighting/underlining and is NOT a library book. Book will have visible wear to the cover and pages, but is still in overall good condition. If you find the book does not ... meet your expectations, please contact us for a full refund. Read more Show Less

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2003 Hard cover Good. Go green, recycle! Book may have wear from reading, may contain some library markings. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 288 p.

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Overview


When beloved Judge William Dupree dies at eighty-two, he leaves his widow, two adult sons, and a more than devoted clerk to mourn him. The Judge-gentle, reserved, henpecked, and a lifelong Republican-was appointed to the United States District Court by Richard Nixon. But once on the bench, he invariably ruled for the liberal argument-pro-civil rights, pro-choice-dismaying his upper-crust Louisville, Kentucky, cronies, not to mention his wife.

Mary Louise Dupree, a nagging hypochondriac (considered by some an out-and-out shrew), remembers her marriage querulously, but softens the day she must also bury the judge's loyal little dog, Duff. His two sons, Crawford and Morgan, react to his death by behaving in ways that would surely have disappointed him. His law clerk, Lucy, remembers him as a saint who politely lusted for her and finally acted on that lust at the age of eighty.

In the aftermath of the judge's death, the mourners interrelate disastrously, acting out their grief. While they are grappling with loss and notions of an afterlife, they all feel-and sometimes even see-his presence. Dead or alive, the Duprees are, as a family, perpetually restless in their insistence on family love even in the face of family failures.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
Slight, disheveled, almost totally without guile, eighty-two-year-old Judge William Dupree, of Louisville, departs this world leaving behind only the shimmer of his beneficence. His death leaves his family -- his hypochondriac wife and his peripatetic sons -- at a loss. Without the love that he steadily, but unobtrusively, supplied, his sons go haywire: the elder leaves his amiable wife for an aspiring ventriloquist, and the younger, a struggling writer, returns home, where he falls into the arms of his father's law clerk. Allen's preoccupation with ardor in all its forms brings Walker Percy to mind, and his lovely, elegiac book shows how easily even the most well-made life can unravel.
Publishers Weekly
The eponymous judge of Allen's debut novel is William Dupree, a federal district court justice in western Kentucky, a soft-spoken, compassionate, upstanding gentleman in the Southern tradition-if you don't count his unexpected liberal bent. Dupree dies at the novel's opening, in January 2001, at the age of 82. He leaves behind a family in disarray. Mary Louise, the judge's hypochondriac widow, drifts like "a little boat on a big sea," as she puts it. Anxious and not easily affectionate, she's had a difficult marriage with the judge, though he always stood by her. Crawford, the older of their sons, is a law school dropout and heavy drinker, on his second marriage. His younger brother Morgan is an aspiring-yet sparsely published-writer who moves from New York back to their hometown to write a book about his father. Morgan is having an affair with Crawford's ex-wife, Colleen, a veterinarian "who was beautiful with and without her glasses." Lucy, the judge's loyal clerk, mourns him as well as her own dwindling personal and professional prospects. Shortly before his death, she stole a kiss from the judge, their only dalliance in all the years she worked for him. Allen's characters are likably flawed and drawn with a delicate, subtle hand ("Crawford sometimes thought he had picked Michelle, following his unsuccessful first marriage, because she would let him get away with being loving only when the mood was upon him. And he had rewarded her, if that was the right term, with thirteen years of almost complete loyalty"). Add to this his assured prose (a character's nightgown is "the color of the moon, as colored by a child bearing down hard with a silver Crayola"), and the book is a quietly moving accomplishment. Agent, Betsy Amster. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The son of a federal judge in Kentucky, first novelist Allen breathes life into his main character: a recently deceased judge from Louisville recalled by his survivors. Judge DuPree left behind a widow, two grown sons, an arthritic dog, and a long-time law clerk with whom he'd had a minor fling. Comparison can be made to Jonathan Franzen's megahit The Corrections, in which the adult sons must come to terms with a dying father. But where Franzen's prose is sharp, bright, and darkly funny, Allen's is gentle, humane, and definitely colored by Southern storytelling. The ghost of Judge Dupree appears occasionally, glimpsed by sons Morgan and Crawford and assistant Lucy, creating memorable pieces that add up to a remarkable whole. Recommended for most fiction collections.-Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ex-New Yorker staffer Allen (The Green Suit, stories, 2000) offers an eloquent but determinedly downbeat first novel about the family and clerk of a recently deceased Kentucky judge, all at sea about what to do with themselves. It's easy for Judge Dupree: he gave his liberal opinions from the bench (confounding those who expected otherwise from the dyed-in-the-wool Republican), defended his harping, health-food freak of a spouse against their two sons, had a glimmer of the life that might have been when he finally kissed his longtime clerk, Lucy, at age 80-and then died. Lucy, though, with no plans for her future, goes to church in hopes of finding a direction. There, she finds Morgan Dupree, the Judge's divorced younger son, a sometime sportswriter who has come back to Louisville from Manhattan to write a book about his father. The other son, Crawford, still suffering the consequences of landing on his head in a Manhattan street after colliding with a bicyclist, has grown diffident in his teaching and so estranged from his wife in Wisconsin that she starts an affair, while he tries to take up with his son's much-younger ventriloquist teacher. The Judge's widow, meanwhile, fusses and frets in her own way, but finds a reliable companion in her yardman, who buries the Judge's old dog for her when the pooch goes into convulsions and dies on the patio. Part of the mix too is "Uncle" Louis, the Judge's cousin and best friend, an alcoholic and closet homosexual who finally comes out by bringing home dark-eyed Lazaro from a trip to Guatemala, then succumbs to cancer not long after. As Morgan pursues Lucy, and Crawford travels with the ventriloquist, the Judge, an unabashed train enthusiast,rides the rails as a ghost, occasionally appearing to his loved ones in their distress. A delicate touch throughout, but the characters, for all their foibles, are largely wretched, racked, inscrutable souls next to whom the ghostly Judge seems a paragon of substance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565123694
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author


Dwight Allen received a BA from Lawrence University and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. His stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies including the Georgia Review, the Missouri Review, Shenandoah, and New Stories from the South. He worked for and contributed nonfiction to the New Yorker and to Wigwag before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, where he now lives with his wife and son.
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