Stephen Dixon

Stephen Dixon, shown in 2007, recently won an O. Henry Award. (AMY DAVIS, Baltimore Sun / May 10, 2007)

The Baltimore novelist and short story writer Stephen Dixon has won a 2014 O. Henry Award for his short story, "Talk."

The annual prize honors 20 of the best short stories each year. Also on this year's list are such well-known national authors as Louise Erdrich and William Trevor.

"Talk," which was published in "The American Reader," is a moving portrait of loneliness. In this stream of consciousness monologue, a recent widower realizes that he has gone nearly an entire day without speaking to another human being.

This is the fifth O. Henry nod for Dixon, who retired in 2007 as a professor in the Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars. The author of 31 novels and short story collections, Dixon's writing previously has earned him the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for Fiction, the Pushcart Prize and two nominations for a National Book Award.

mary.mccauley@baltsun.com