John Edgar Wideman


John Edgar Wideman was the fourth guest in the Marygrove College Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series on April 24, 1992.

Born June 14, 1941, in Washington, D.C., Wideman was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University.  Wideman has taught at Howard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wyoming.  Wideman was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1963, and a Thouron Fellow at Oxford University in 1963-66.  

Wideman’s award-winning books include Philadelphia Fire, winner of the 1991 PEN/Faulkner Prize for fiction; the short story collection Fever; three works collected as The Homewood Trilogy (Damballah, The Hiding Place, and Sent for You Yesterday); the novels Reuben, A Glance Away, The Lynchers, and Hurry Home. Sent for You Yesterday was listed as one of the fifteen best books of 1983 by the New York Times Book Review and won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1984. The non-fiction work Brothers and Keepers received a National Book Critics Circle nomination in 1985. His short fiction, reviews and critical articles, often on the work of black writers, have appeared in a number of publications.

For the third year in a row, it poured rain the night of the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series, but that did not seem to matter to the 500 guests, alumni, friends, colleagues, and neighbors of the College who turned out to hear writer John Edgar Wideman. Wideman held the audience silent for forty-five minutes as he read from his most recent collection of stories.

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