Books: Wimps in Love


by Stephen Dixon

Johns Hopkins; 181 pages; $12.50

In the era of the blockbuster novel, short-story writers have had a hard time supporting their habit. While Novelists John Updike and Saul Bellow can afford occasional forays into the briefer forms, a hard-bitten short-story adept like Stephen Dixon, 48, has had to toil as a bartender, waiter and pajama salesman to pay for the privilege of persisting in an unprofitable genre. But a boomlet in short fiction seems to be at hand. Publishers are wagering in increasing numbers that storytellers can attract readers beyond the pages of the little magazines.

In Dixon's...

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