DISCUSSION OF BROTHERS & KEEPERS
Sept. 17, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Was led by D. Quentin Miller
John Edgar Wideman reading a passage from Brothers & Keepers to students from the University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public School’s Academy at Westinghouse.
Brothers & Keepers is a memoir written by John Edgar Wideman. It was published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1984.
The memoir charts the wildly divergent paths of two African-American brothers. They start from a family of modest means in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood where the author blossoms successfully into a Rhodes Scholar, a college professor, and a recognized writer. His brother Robby follows a different path and as a heroin addict is sentenced to life imprisonment for a role in a deadly robbery. The book navigates history through a mix of personal recollections and prison interviews. The author contrasts the diverging trajectory of his own life to that of his brother’s to tell a narrative illustrating struggles with race, identity, prison conditions, and the American Dream.
D. Quentin Miller, author of Understanding John Edgar Wideman (2018), is Professor of English and Chair of the Department at Suffolk University in Boston. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of ten books, including, most recently, The Routledge Introduction to African American Literature. His interest in Wideman stemmed from teaching writing in prisons in the 1990s, which in turn led to a fascination with works by prisoners and about the prison experience. Prior to teaching at Suffolk University he taught at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and at the University of Connecticut.
This was the link we used on Sept. 17th: https://mcpl.libnet.info/event/5493509