QB readers know that I'm a major Stephen Dixon fan. Twice this year, I've lead you to stories by him and, each time, I've mentioned the floating, totally unverified, slightly crazy possibility that Fantagraphics Books–primarily a premier publisher of comics–would be publishing Dixon's next book. What I didn't mention was that, after hearing multiple rumors, I just went ahead and emailed Fantagraphics myself. The publisher confirmed, saying "Well the rumor is true, but it will be a year before anything is forthcoming."
Well, it's really happening. It'll be a little less than a yearlong wait, and it's basically what has been described in the blogosphere: a 900-page work entitled What Is All This? (If it turns out to be the anthology of previously uncollected stories mentioned elsewhere on the internet, that title is HILARIOUS.)
Yippee! Tell your friends.
UPDATE (10/27/09): It is indeed a collection of Dixon's uncollected stories. At 900 pages, there must be a lot of them, which is remarkably considering that the 700-page The Stories of Stephen Dixon appeared in 1994. Here's the description from Amazon and, presumably, Fantagraphics:
"For the last thirty years Stephen Dixon has written fiercely intellectual examinations of everyday life, challenging his readers with prose that rivals the complexities of William Gaddis and David Foster Wallace. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present his latest volume of short stories, What Is All This? The tales in the collection are vintage Dixon, eschewing the modernism and quasi-autobiography of his I trilogy and instead treating us to a pared-down, crystalline style. Centrally concerning himself with the American condition, he explores obsessions of body image, the increasingly polarized political landscape, sex in all its incarnations and the gloriously pointless minutiae of modern life, from bus rides to tying shoelaces. Dixon's stories are crafted with the eye of a great observer and the tongue of a profound humorist: the New York native captures the edgy madness that infects the city through the neuroses of his narrators with a style that owes as much to Neo-Realist cinema as it does to American literature. What Is All This? is an immense and vastly entertaining collection that will delight lovers of contemporary fiction."