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John Edgar Wideman Biography

(1941– ), A Glance Away, Hurry Home, The Lynchers, Damballah, Hiding Place, Sent for You Yesterday, Reuben

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African-American writer, born in Washington, DC, educated at the University of Pennsylvania, and at New College, Oxford. He was Professor of English at the University of Wyoming, then taught at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Among his best-known works are his novels set in Homewood, the African-American area of Pittsburgh where he grew up. His novels include A Glance Away (1967), Hurry Home (1970), The Lynchers (1973), Damballah (1981), Hiding Place (1981), Sent for You Yesterday (1983), Reuben (1987), and Philadelphia Fire (1991). His stories appeared in Fever (1989) and All Stories Are True: The Stories of John Edgar Wideman (1992). His acclaimed memoir Brothers and Keepers (1984), which alternates in style between reflective literary narrative and urban streetwise language, compellingly explores the events, social context, psychological pressures, and divergent circumstances that led his younger brother Robert to prison for murder and himself to a middle-class life as an academic.

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