A powerful selection of the best of John Edgar Wideman’s short stories over his fifty-year career, representing the wide range of his intellectual and artistic pursuits.
Wideman’s stories are grounded in the streets and the people of Homewood, the Pittsburgh neighborhood of his childhood, but they range far beyond there, to the small western towns of Wyoming and historic Philadelphia, the contemporary world and the ancient past. He explores the interior lives of his characters, and the external pressures that shape them. These stories are as intellectually intricate as they are rich with the language and character. “John Edgar Wideman’s short stories render an internal and external world as vivid and intricate as Faulkner’s, as emotionally painful as Baldwin’s, and as unique as his own streets and stoops of Homewood,” wrote the PEN/Malamud Award selection committee.
Comprised of thirty-five stories drawn from past collections (American Histories, Briefs, God’s Gym, All Stories Are True, Fever, and Damballah), and an introductory essay by the National Book Critics Circle board member and scholar Walton Muyumba, this volume of Wideman’s selected stories celebrates the lifelong significance of this major American writer’s essential contribution to a form—illuminating the ways that he has made it his own.
Author: John Edgar Wideman