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 New York City and lives in Maryland. He has published 30 other books of fiction: 15 story collections and 15 novels and is a two-time finalist for the National Book Award, for Frog (British American Publishing, 1991) and Interstate (Henry Holt, 1995). He taught in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University for 27 years and retired in 2007.Author City: USA