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Writer Karen Outen to discuss her novel ‘Dixon Descending’ on March 6

ISSUED: 21 February 2024
MEDIA CONTACT: Cecelia Mason

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities and Office of Diversity and Equity will host Karen Outen on Wednesday, March 6, at 7 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education auditorium, 213 N. King St., Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Photo of Dixon Descending book cover.Outen will read from and discuss her debut literary fiction novel, Dixon Descending, the story of Dixon, a school psychologist who missed placement into the Olympic running team by two-tenths of a second and never got over it. Dixon’s older brother, Nate, suggests they attempt to be the first Black American men to summit Mount Everest. The novel follows their adventure and what happens after they return to their normal lives.

Outen’s work has appeared in publications Glimmer Train, North American Review, and Essence. She received the 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award and has been a fellow at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan and was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.

For more information, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities, at

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