A powerful, heart-wrenching debut novel about ambition, survival, and our responsibility toward one another.
Dixon was once an Olympic-level runner. But he missed the team by two-tenths of a second, and ever since that pain decades ago, he hasn’t allowed a goal to consume him. But when his charming older brother, Nate, suggests that they attempt to be the first Black American men to summit Mount Everest, Dixon can’t refuse. The brothers are determined to prove something—to themselves and to each other.
Dixon interrupts his orderly life as a school psychologist, leaving behind disapproving friends, family, and one particularly fragile student, Marcus. Once on the mountain, they are met with extreme weather conditions, oxygen deprivation, and precarious terrain. But as much as they’ve prepared for this, Mt. Everest is always fickle. And in one devastating moment, Dixon’s world is upended.
Dixon returns home, wracked with guilt and grief. He attempts to resume his job, but things have shifted: for him, and for the students he left behind when he chose Mt. Everest. Ultimately, Dixon must confront the truth of what happened on the mountain and come to terms with who can and cannot be saved. DIXON, DESCENDING offers us a captivating, shattering portrait of the ways we’re reshaped by our decisions—and what it takes to angle ourselves, once again, toward hope.