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John Edgar Wideman

Biography

John Edgar Wideman

John Edgar Wideman’s books include, among others, AMERICAN HISTORIES, WRITING TO SAVE A LIFE, BROTHERS AND KEEPERS, PHILADELPHIA FIRE, FATHERALONG, HOOP ROOTS and SENT FOR YOU YESTERDAY. He won the PEN/Faulkner Award twice and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award. He is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. He divides his time between New York and France.

John Edgar Wideman

Books by John Edgar Wideman

by John Edgar Wideman - Fiction, Short Stories

When John Edgar Wideman won the PEN Malamud Award in 2019, he joined a list of esteemed writers --- from Eudora Welty to George Saunders --- all of whom are acknowledged masters of the short story. Wideman’s commitment to short fiction has been lifelong, and here he gathers a representative selection from throughout his career, stories that challenge what defines, separates and unites us; dare to push form and defy convention; and, to quote Wideman, seek to “deconstruct the given formulas of African American culture and life.”

by John Edgar Wideman - Fiction, Short Stories

In his sixth story collection, John Edgar Wideman revisits themes that have infused his work for the duration of his career: family, loss, the penal system, Pittsburgh, physical and emotional life, art and memory. Stories include “Separation,” which begins with a boy standing alone beside his grandfather’s coffin, progressing to a scene with the narrator’s grandmother paying the funeral director weekly installments for the price of the casket. “Atlanta Murders” contemplates James Baldwin’s EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, written about the Atlanta child murders from 1979 to 1981, beginning with a riff on a “why-did-the chicken-cross-the-road” joke that takes a dark turn.