Dixon, John 1952–
Dixon, John 1952–
PERSONAL: Born 1952, in De Pere, WI. Education: Studied playwriting at American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco, CA).
ADDRESSES: Home—De Pere, WI. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Verse Chorus Press, P.O. Box 14806, Portland, OR 97293.
A Map of the Dark (novel), Verse Chorus Press (Portland, OR), 2005.
Also author of several plays.
SIDELIGHTS: The inhabitants of a small-town commit acts of cruelty that affect their whole community in John Dixon's debut novel, A Map of the Dark. The novel is set on Halloween, 1963, in a locale intimately familiar to Dixon—his real-life hometown of De Pere, Wisconsin. The characters include an angry sixteenyear-old boy who has had a series of disappointments in school, sports, and love; a fifth grader who wants to be part of a clique of older kids, even though they mistreat him; and a woman with terminal cancer who reacts to her situation by getting drunk. Eventually their stories and others intertwine while violence erupts. A Publishers Weekly reviewer termed the novel "stark but flawed"; while praising its "dark action sequences," the reviewer also wished for more insight into the characters. In a similar vein, a Kirkus Reviews contributor saw Dixon as "only hinting at the inner turmoil that presumably motivates" the characters in his book. On the positive side, the Kirkus Reviews critic thought Dixon's work has something in common with that of fellow Midwestern novelist Sinclair Lewis, writing that this commonality is in the "portrayal of social hierarchies and the lengths to which people will go in order to fit in."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2005, review of A Map of the Dark, p. 933.
Publishers Weekly, August 22, 2005, review of A Map of the Dark, p. 38.
Verse Chorus Press Web site, http://www.versechorus.com/ (November 21, 2005), brief biography.