Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dixon Day

Did an interview today with the fiction writer Stephen Dixon for work. I reviewed his last novel, Old Friends a year ago, and am reviewing his forthcoming one. It was my first interview and it went really well. He's a wonderfully nice man whose writing practice is deeply ingrained. He's written 25 books. After I went through my questions--about how he manages to be so prolific, how he feels about being labeled an avant-garde writer, about the new book--we talked for a few minutes about my writing life. He summers in a part of Maine I know, so we had that in common. And he was very encouraging, made me feel good about my writing practice, like a real writer, like writing is all it takes to be one. He said he's never had a period of writers block in his life. Oh if only...but he reminds me to just keep at it, to put words on paper--that's what writing is after all.

I like his fiction very much. It's sad, about the commonplace sufferings of everyday people, about the minutiae. The books are very empathic. He's not as well known as he should be and I hope this new book brings him some much deserved recognition.

Also bought the new Bill Frisell live album today. Not yet sure what I think...maybe he's been more exciting on other records.


whelp said...

I went to JHU because of him, and popped up at his NYC readings whenever he came up from Baltimore; at a latter reading, he looked up from the podium, saw me, sighed, and said, "Well, hello again, Wah-Ming." Where can we see the interview?

howie said...

I picked up a copy of "30 Pieces of a Novel" a while back and was impressed. The section with all of the tragic accidents in one stretch was a bit rough. Somewhere in the middle third of the book I made the mistake of reading a negative review of the book that put me off it for a while. I should pick it up again. Glad to hear that Mr. Dixon is personable. Glad to hear that things are going well for you.