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John Edgar Wideman — American novelist, short story writer, nonfiction writer, and critic. See also, John Edgar Wideman Criticism. Wideman, whom critic Don Strachen called "the black Faulkner, the softcover Shakespeare," is best known for novels and short stories that trace the lives of several generations of families in and around Homewood, a black ghetto district of Pittsburgh where he lived until he was twelve years old.
Biographical Information Wideman attended the University of Pennsylvania before being selected as the first black Rhodes scholar since Alain Locke in In England, Wideman studied eighteenth-century literature and the early development of the novel. His first two novels, A Glance Away and Hurry Homereflect this formal training as well as his own experiments with narrative technique.
Yet he began his college career not as a writer, but as a basketball star. His main con-cern continued to be basketball, and although he played well enough to be named to the Philadelphia Big Five Basketball Hall of Fame, his basketball career ended in college.
During the late s and early s, Wideman was an assistant basketball coach, professor of English, and founder and director of the Afro-American studies program at the University of Pennsylvania; he has also served as a professor of English at the universities of Wyoming and Massachusetts.
In addition to these duties, he has been a curriculum consultant to secondary schools nationwide since Major Works A Glance Away and Hurry Home involve a search for self by protagonists who are confused and dominated by their pasts.
In A Glance Away, a rehabilitated drug addict returns to his home, where he renews family and social ties while trying to avoid a relapse; in Hurry Home, a black law school graduate seeks cultural communion with white society by traveling to Europe, then reaffirms his black heritage in Africa.
In The Homewood Trilogy, which comprises the short story collection Damballah and the novels Hiding Place and Sent for You YesterdayWideman uses deviating time frames, black dialect, and rhythmic language to transform Homewood into what Alan Cheuse described as "a magical location infused with poetry and pathos.
Through the characters of Doot, the primary narrator, and Albert Wilkes, an outspoken blues pianist, Wideman asserts that creativity and imagination are important means to transcend despair and strengthen the common bonds of race, culture, and class. The eponymous narrator of Reuben is an ambiguous and enigmatic figure who provides inexpensive legal aid to residents of Homewood.
Among his clients are Kwansa, a young black woman whose brutal ex-husband, a recovering drug addict, seeks custody of their illegitimate child as revenge against her, and Wally, an assistant basketball coach at a local university who comes to Reuben because he fears he will be blamed for the illegal recruiting practices of his department.
Wally, who may have actually murdered a white man, is possessed by an ingrained hatred that leads him to fantasize of violence against middle-aged white males.
Race-related strife, violence, and suffering are also prominent themes in Fever: In the novel Philadelphia FireWideman combines fact and fiction to elaborate on an actual incident involving MOVE, a militant, heavily armed black commune that refused police orders to vacate a Philadelphia slum house in With the approval of W.
A Meditation on Fathers and Sons, Race and SocietyWideman again juxtaposes his own personal life with universal concerns.
Novelist Charles Johnson called him "easily the most acclaimed black male writer of the last decade," and renowned critic Robert Bone, author of The Negro Novel in America, called Wideman "perhaps the most gifted black novelist of his generation.
In assessing his short stories, numerous critics have compared Wideman to William Faulkner; Michael Gorra asserted that such a comparison is legitimate "because both are concerned with the life of a community over time.NNDB has added thousands of bibliographies for people, organizations, schools, and general topics, listing more than 50, books and , other kinds of references.
They may be accessed by the "Bibliography" tab at the top of most pages, or via the "Related Topics" box in the sidebar. Please. Technology In Action, Introductory - United States Edition, Alan Evans, Mary Anne Poatsy, Kendall Martin A Survey of Worcestershire by Thomas Habington V2 (), Thomas Habington, John Amphlett Four Freedoms Trimmers, School Specialty Publishing, Carson Dellosa Publishing.
Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now! A thing of beauty and permanence in an age of transience. Since In John Edgar Wideman’s article “Our Time” he describes several situations that ultimately lead to the downfall and imprisonment of his brother Robby.
Wideman tells stories of several things that happened to his brother while he was growing up that could have helped contribute to his drug use and crime.
Our Time Essay Words | 7 Pages. Alex Leen 9/5/12 English , Final Draft of paper 1 In the essay “Our Time” by John Edgar Wideman he often takes a break from the narrative to address that he has many problems as a writer. He does this to try to consciously address these problems and hopefully solve these problems.