Time To Go

Overview

In Time to Go, the author of the highly acclaimed 14 Stories, Long Made Short, and All Gone has written a dazzling book of eighteen interlocking pieces. Part short story collection, part novel, Time to Go moves from despair to hope, from the passing of things—time, relationships, businesses, chances—to the coming of marriage, stability, family, a new life. It is a book that can be in turn frightening and funny, touching and tough—and one that ...

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Time to Go

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Overview

In Time to Go, the author of the highly acclaimed 14 Stories, Long Made Short, and All Gone has written a dazzling book of eighteen interlocking pieces. Part short story collection, part novel, Time to Go moves from despair to hope, from the passing of things—time, relationships, businesses, chances—to the coming of marriage, stability, family, a new life. It is a book that can be in turn frightening and funny, touching and tough—and one that is, on occasion, all these things at once.

Johns Hopkins University Press

In his newest book, the author of Frog and Interstate draws a portrait of a man through his romantic and sexual involvements, as well as a portrait of modern American life over the past 40 years. By turns comic and deeply touching, Gould is a bravura performance delineating the leaping arc of love--and all too often, the miscarriage of that love. 288 pp. Author readings. National ads. 12,500 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Time
[Time to Go] emphatically establishes him as one of the short story's most accomplished if quirky practitioners.
New York Times
Mr. Dixon wields a stubbornly plain-spoken style; he loves all sorts of tricky narrative effects. And he loves even more the tribulations of the fantasizing mind, ticklish in their comedy, alarming in their immediacy.
Boston Globe
[Dixon's] stories, strengthened by their unity, almost have a novel's ability to develop character, to suggest a life outside the confines of the plot.
New York Times

Mr. Dixon wields a stubbornly plain-spoken style; he loves all sorts of tricky narrative effects. And he loves even more the tribulations of the fantasizing mind, ticklish in their comedy, alarming in their immediacy.

Boston Globe

[Dixon's] stories, strengthened by their unity, almost have a novel's ability to develop character, to suggest a life outside the confines of the plot.

Time

[Time to Go] emphatically establishes him as one of the short story's most accomplished if quirky practitioners.

Time
[Time to Go] emphatically establishes him as one of the short story's most accomplished if quirky practitioners.
Boston Globe
[Dixon's] stories,strengthened by their unity,almost have a novel's ability to develop character,to suggest a life outside the confines of the plot.
New York Times
Praise for Stephen Dixon:"Mr. Dixon wields a stubbornly plain-spoken style; he loves all sorts of tricky narrative effects. And he loves even more the tribulations of the fantasizing mind,ticklish in their comedy,alarming in their immediacy.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
These two short novels have as their anti-hero Gould Bookbinder, a high-strung New York City book reviewer and college instructor who's "often being frazzled or on the border line of falling apart." The first novel, "Abortion," tells Gould's history-from college in the late 1940s to the borderland of senior citizenship in the present-through the prism of his relations with the women he's gotten pregnant. Gould initially appears to be a fairly normal, well-intentioned fellow, but he turns out to be terribly-and pathetically- manipulative. Miriam is married, and Gould is seeing her. He realizes he wouldn't mind "getting her pregnant and having a hold on her like that and maybe even a child if she wanted it or he could persuade her to keep it or just something troublesome they went through like an abortion that would sort of seal something between them." The second novel is named after Evangeline, a divorce with whom Gould lives and has a troublesome relationship, based mostly on good sex and an abiding affection for her child. Characteristically, Dixon (Interstate) writes looping run-on sentences filled with dialogue, a style that captures the manic momentum of Gould's consciousness. Dixon's subject is human malleability. He excels at depicting men who try many versions of themselves. Gould wears each of his selves uneasily, as if unable to trust in their durability. Dixon's theme, in effect, is that character-those consistencies of behavior and motive on which fiction traditionally stands-is an illusion. What makes Gould more profound, if less flashy, than Interstate is that this time Dixon is mapping the need for that illusion rather than simply showing us that it is illusory. (Feb.) FYI: Dixon's previous two novels, Frog and Interstate, will be reissued by Holt's Owl imprint.
Library Journal
Gould Bookbinder is obsessively driven by his desires-initially just for sex, then for children-regardless of consequences for the women in his life: "I left it to her to take care of the rest of it, meaning her own pleasure and the birth control." The first section, "Abortions," touches on five relationships over 40 years. Each includes an abortion or miscarriage. The second, "Evangeline," explores what appears to be a version of one of those stories in greater depth. Although Gould is slightly influenced by the sexual revolution and less so by feminism, he is just too obtuse and selfish to "get it." As in his two most recent novels, Frog (LJ 9/1/93) and Interstate (LJ 5/1/95), both National Book Award finalists, Dixon has created a deeply flawed and fascinating character. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/96.]-Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico
Kirkus Reviews
Stream-of-consciousness fiction, about one Gould Bookbinder, a would-be writer, and his many girlfriends, from the prolific author of Interstate (1995), Frog (1991), etc.

The story divides into two novellas, "Abortions" and "Evangeline," but they are of a piece, chronicling the relationships Gould experiences from the 1950s onward. Dixon writes in a run-on style that drifts in and out of these relationships, capturing, in the process, the emergence of a more liberal moral climate, and the evolution of a naive adolescent into a mature man. "Abortions" thus moves from back-alley abortions to legal ones; it is the relationships themselves, however, that are abortive here, unsatisfactory and temporary. Gould doesn't have much to offer his women except sex, and the assets they have, in his eyes, are purely sexual. He flits from one female to another until, finally, he's married and a father, but his wife, too, is purely a sexual being, and abortions still happen. Gould's longest relationship is not with his wife but with the title character of the second novella, with whom he maintains a correspondence and whom he continues to sees long after he's married. Evangeline is a free spirit, raising her son on the fly as she takes on lover after lover, pops pills, and plays at becoming an artist. She and Gould proclaim a hundred times that they don't belong together, that they have nothing in common, that each wants most to be free. Ironically, they are in fact exactly suited to each other—they're both irresponsible, selfish, and self-absorbed in much the same way.

Extremely readable and clever work, but the pages don't add up to much except sex and more sex, described in clinical detail and with clinical dispassion, featuring a cast of characters who seem incapable of thinking about anything other than their bodies and their appetites.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801869662
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1986
  • Series: Poetry and Fiction Series
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 0.45 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Dixon is a two-time National Book Award finalist. Mr. Dixon has written over twenty short story collections and novels, including 14 Stories, Long Made Short, and All Gone, which are available from the Johns Hopkins University Press. He is a professor in The Writing Seminars at the Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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