Nancy Dixon was born in Karachi, Pakistan, while her father was stationed there in the military. Her sojourns eventually brought her to New Orleans. For many years she worked at the famed Matassa's Bar on St. Philip. She finished her BA and MA at the University of New Orleans, then left NOLA for a short time to work on her doctorate at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She completed the program in record time, only four years, and her dissertation was later published by LSU Press as Fortune and Misery: Sallie Rhett Roman of New Orleans in 1999. This book won the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) Humanities Book of the Year award in 2000. More recently, she edited N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature, published by Lavender Ink in 2013.