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In this collection of interconnected short stories, two-time National Book Award-nominee Stephen Dixon illuminates the psychological state of a writer whose wife suddenly, tragically passes away from a debilitating illness. Dixon’s evocative vignettes paint a complex portrait of the man’s life, zipping backward and forward in time from the creatively fruitful but often tumultuous period of his marriage to his twilight years when, struggling with his loss, he fumbles to find clarity and certainty in his writing. Through his characteristically restrained prose, Dixon navigates the entire breadth of the human experience—from life’s joyous highs to its devastating lows, and the pensive moments in between—grappling with themes of love, grief, and companionship with grace and subtlety.
"Dixon's stories, strengthened by their unity, almost have a novel's ability to develop character, to suggest a life outside the confines of the plot." — The Boston Globe
"Mr. Dixon wields a stubbornly plain-spoken style; he loves all sorts of tricky narrative effects. And he loves even more the tribulations of the fantasizing mind, ticklish in their comedy, alarming in their immediacy." — The New York Times
"Some writers are able, in a mere 200 pages or so, to rewire your circuitry in a way that makes you unfit for your own life. Stephen Dixon is such a writer, and he can do it in a short story as well." — Los Angeles Times