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Welcome to the Neighborhood

by Dickson Carroll


These ten interconnected stories are best read consecutively since the action develops and progresses; characters are introduced, leave, and reappear later. The characters are fictional, including the author and his wife, who are altered versions of themselves. The places are for the most part real. A series of adventures takes place, both in and out of the neighborhood. Together, these stories can be read as a fantastical memoir or a “fake” autobiography. It is also a satire, an art catalogue, a philosophical exploration, an illustrated children’s book for adults, or simply an amusement. The captions under the “illustrations” (the author’s sculptures) are closely linked to the text but also reflect the illustrator’s independent voice, which frequently comments on the story.

It is as if the author, who only speaks as his actual self in the Appendix, were trying on many possible identities—or avatars—in order to better understand himself and his world.

This book was originally written in French as an extended, six-year homework project for the author’s study of the language. The study of French was initiated by his wife, who plays a very important role in this story, as the reader will find out if she or he reads the whole book right to the very last page!

About the Author: 

Dickson Carroll, an architect and sculptor, lives and works in Cleveland Park, an early Washington, D.C., turn-of-the-century streetcar suburb. His neighborhood is less than an hour’s walk from the National Mall and the center of the nation’s capital.

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