Stephen Dixon (b. 1936) grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with six siblings. Before he became a college professor at the age of 43, he lived a life, working as a school bus driver, a bartender, a systems analyst, an artist’s model, a middle school teacher, a department store clerk, and a reporter in Washington, D.C., where he interviewed John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, and L.B.J., among others. He wrote his first short story in 1959 and attributes to his older brother, Jim, a fiction writer, the best advice he has ever gotten: “You have to finish them.” Which advice, having subsequently written over 500 short stories, he decidedly took. His first published short story, “The Chess House,” appeared in The Paris Review in 1963 (#29). He is a retired faculty member of Johns Hopkins University. He is also a two-time National Book Award nominee—for his novels Frog and Interstate—and his work has been selected for four O. Henry Prizes, two Best American selections, three Pushcart Prizes, one Best Stories of the South, two stories in the Norton Anthology of American Literature and possibly others he is too modest to list. He still hammers out his fiction on a vintage typewriter.