Thumb Drives and Oven Clocks assures me that Fantagraphics has committed to publishing something—no one knows exactly what—by Stephen Dixon in 2010. Careful readers of this blog know that this cheers my heart considerably. Still, there’s no proof. Neither Amazon, Powell’s, or Barnes & Noble lists anything forthcoming from the prolific writer. Fantagraphics’s website says nothing; nor do the sites of McSweeney’s and Melville House, Dixon’s most recent publishers. And, though Fantagraphics is one of my favorite publishers, it is a comics press. So, I guess I’ll believe it when I see it, and not before.
While we’re waiting, let’s read a Spring 2008 story by him: “How They Met.” It’s an excerpt from His Wife Leaves Him, and runs through some familiar territory: namely, how a protagonist meets his future wife at a party, and then asks her for a date as she’s leaving. (See: 1985’s Fall & Rise, and “Again” from 2002’s I..) This supposedly forthcoming novel has been mentioned in several recent profiles but this, reportedly, is not the book Fantagraphics plans to publish, at least not according to the Baltimore Urbanite, the magazine that just published Dixon’s new story, “Mr. Greene.” (For the record, the magazine mentions this in his bio: “His next, a three-volume story collection called What Is All This?, is forthcoming from Fantagraphics Books.”)
So, what the hell’s going on? Who knows but, for now, read the story—and send me any updates you can find. Oh, and there’s this lovely profile from Poets & Writers Magazine that mentions both the story collection and His Wife Leaves Him. Let’s hope both are coming soon.