John Edgar Wideman

John Edgar Wideman (born June 14, 1941) is an American novelist, short story writer, memoirist, and essayist. He was the first person to win the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction twice. His writing is known for experimental techniques and a focus on the African American experience.

Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Wideman excelled as a student athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1963, he became the second African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford. In addition to his work as a writer, Wideman has had a career in academia as a literature and creative writing professor at both public and Ivy League universities.

In his writing, Wideman has explored the complexities of race, family, trauma, storytelling, and justice in the United States. His personal experience, including the incarceration of his brother, has played a significant role in his work.

He is a professor emeritus at Brown University and lives in New York City and France.

Books in order of publication:


A Glance Away (Harcourt, 1967

Hurry Home (Harcourt, 1970)

The Lynchers (Harcourt, 1973)

Hiding Place (Avon Books, 1981)

Sent for You Yesterday (Avon Books, 1983)

Reuben (Henry Holt, 1987)

Philadelphia Fire (Henry Holt, 1990)

The Cattle Killing (Houghton Mifflin, 1996)

Two Cities (Houghton Mifflin, 1998)

Fanon (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)

Omnibus editions

The Homewood Trilogy (Avon Books, 1985)

The Homewood Books (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)

Identities: Three Early Novels by John Edgar Wideman (Henry Holt, 1994)

Story collections

Damballah (Avon Books, 1981)

Fever (Henry Holt, 1989)

The Stories of John Edgar Wideman (Pantheon Books, 1992; published as All Stories Are True, Vintage Books, 1993)

God’s Gym (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)

Briefs (Lulu Press, 2010)

American Histories (Scribner, 2018)

You Made Me Love You: Selected Stories, 1981-2018 (Scribner, 2021)

Look for Me and I’ll Be Gone (Scribner, 2021)

Memoirs and other

Brothers and Keepers (Henry Holt, 1984)

Fatheralong: A Meditation on Fathers and Sons, Race and Society (Pantheon, 1994)

Hoop Roots: Basketball, Race, and Love (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

(Editor) My Soul Has Grown Deep: Classics of Early African American Literature (Running Press, 2001)

(Editor) 20: The Best of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001)

The Island: Martinique (National Geographic Directions, 2003)

Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File (Scribner, 2016)

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