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Goodbye, Mr Dixon

by Iain Crichton Smith

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SKU: 9780857907349 Categories: ,
ISBN: 9780857907349
Published: 20 Apr 2015
Format: E-Book
Extent: 207
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Polygon
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About the Book

The titular Mr Dixon is not the novel's main character but the creation of the novel's main character, Tom Spence. Spence describes himself as "an embryo novelist"; he has had the odd job - for example, delivering mail - but is largely without skills and has bet all on his career as a writer. Unfortunately he has "never brought a novel to a successful conclusion" never mind had one published, and, unable to live the dream, has instead dreamed it through his protagonist, Drew Dixon. His novel has ground to a halt because he has decided Dixon will "meet a girl of twenty-five or thereabouts whose entry into his world was to change his life" but has no idea how to write it. Fortuitously he meets a young woman, Ann, and, as their relationship develops we begin to sense that it will be Spence's life that is changed rather than Dixon's.

As Spence's isolation ends he revisits his past, attempting to contact the mother he hasn't seen in years and returning to his old school to see the English teacher who he believes encouraged him to write. Increasingly his admiration for Dixon turns to hatred and Spence is forced to choose between life and art.


The Author

Iain Crichton Smith

Iain Crichton Smith (1928 – 1998) was born in Glasgow, brought up on Lewis, and attended university in Aberdeen. After working as a teacher in Clydebank and Dumbarton, he taught at the High School in Oban until he took early retirement in 1977. He was the recipient of many literary awards and received an OBE in 1980. His widow, Donalda, still lives in Taynuilt, where the couple moved after their marriage in 1977.