Karen Outen — Dixon, Descending - with Cheryl A Head — at Conn Ave

Upcoming Event
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 - 7:00pm

This event is in partnership with the Washington Literacy Center.

Dixon was once an Olympic-level runner. But he missed the team by two-tenths of a second, and ever since that pain decades ago, he hasn't allowed a goal to consume him. But when his charming older brother, Nate, suggests that they attempt to be the first Black American men to summit Mount Everest, Dixon can't refuse. The brothers are determined to prove something--to themselves and to each other.

Dixon interrupts his orderly life as a school psychologist, leaving behind disapproving friends, family, and one particularly fragile student, Marcus. Once on the mountain, they are met with extreme weather conditions, oxygen deprivation, and precarious terrain. But as much as they've prepared for this, Mt. Everest is always fickle. And in one devastating moment, Dixon's world is upended.

Dixon returns home and attempts to resume his job, but things have shifted: for him and for the students he left behind when he chose Mt. Everest. Ultimately, Dixon must confront the truth of what happened on the mountain and come to terms with who can and cannot be saved. Dixon, Descending offers us a captivating, shattering portrait of the ways we're reshaped by our decisions--and what it takes to angle ourselves, once again, toward hope.

Karen Outen's fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, The North American Review, Essence, and elsewhere. She is a 2018 recipient of the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award and has been a fellow at both the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan and the Pew Fellowships in the Arts. She received an MFA from the University of Michigan. She lives in Maryland.

Outen will be in conversation with Cheryl A. Head. Head (she/her) is a writer, television producer, and broadcast executive. She is also the author of Time’s Undoing and the award-winning Charlie Mack Motown mysteries, whose female PI protagonist is queer and Black. Head is an Anthony Award nominee, a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, a three-time Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist, and winner of the Golden Crown Literary Society’s Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. Her books are included in the Detroit Public Library’s African American Booklist and in the Special Collections of the Library of Michigan.  

In 2019, Head was named to the Hall of Fame of the New Orleans Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, and in 2022, she was awarded the Alice B Readers Appreciation Award. Head is vice chair of the national Bouchercon board of directors. She lives in Washington, DC, with her partner, and with Abby and Frisby, who provide canine supervision.

This event is free with first come, first served seating.

5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
Fiction & Poetry
Dixon, Descending: A Novel By Karen Outen Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593473450
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Dutton - February 6th, 2024