Fiction. The most famous Beatrice in history is Dante's Beatrice, who appears in the Divine Comedy as the guide that must accompany Dante, after Virgil can travel with him no higher, through the upper reaches of Purgatory and into Heaven. Stephen Dixon's novel will make you think of her, because it seems as though Beatrice arrives in Dixon's book with a similar purpose—even though, perhaps, she does not fulfill that purpose, or even though the main character prevents her from fulfilling that purpose by betraying the trust she has placed in him. Or even though she fulfills that purpose by introducing the circumstances through which the main character reduces himself to a state of further loneliness, which is where the real "blessedness" for this book will be, in the beatitude sense of the word" blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Stephen Dixon was born in 1936 in New York City. He is the author of more than thirty books, including, most recently, DEAR ABIGAIL AND OTHER STORIES (Trnsfr Books, 2019), BEATRICE (Publishing Genius Press, 2016), Letters to Kevin, and Writing, Written. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for Fiction, as well as several O. Henry Awards and Pushcart Prizes. He is also a two-time finalist for the National Book Award, for Frog (British American Publishing, 1991) and Interstate (Henry Holt, 1995).Retired from teaching in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, he lives in Ruxton, Maryland.Author City: RUXTON, MD USA