John Edgar Wideman

2021 Honoree

John Edgar Wideman is the award-winning author of more than twenty books. His forthcoming story collections, You Made Me Love You: Selected Stories, 1981-2018 and Look For Me and I’ll Be Gone, will be published in 2021. Wideman’s past works include the novels A Glance Away (1967), Hurry Home (1970), The Lynchers (1973), Hiding Place (1981), Sent for You Yesterday (1983), Reuben (1987), The Cattle Killing (1996), and Two Cities (1998); the short story collections Damballah (1981), Fever (1990), God’s Gym (2005), Briefs (2010),and American Histories (2018); and the memoirs: Brothers & Keepers (1984), Fatheralong (1994) , Hoop Roots (2001), The Island: Martinique (2003), and Writing to Save a Life (2016), in which he combines memoir and biography to tell the story of Emmett Till’s father, Louis Till. 

Wideman’s PEN/Faulker Award-winning novel Philadeliphia Fire (1990) and his classic memoir Brothers & Keepers (1984) were reissued by Scribner in 2020. His new work appears regularly in periodicals, and his latest short story, “Rwanda,” was published in the December, 2020 issue of The New Yorker


Wideman is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (1993) and a two-time winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. He was awarded the 1998 Rea Prize for Short Fiction, the 2010 PEN/O Henry Prize, and the 2019 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2016, Wideman was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2018 he was awarded the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and Bern University, Switzerland. 


Wideman was previously Asa Messer Professor and Professor of Africana Studies and Literary Arts at Brown University, where he is now Professor Emeritus of Literature. He lives in New York and France.

For more on Jon Edgar Wideman there is:
     "From Oxford to Homewood: The Long Journey Home of an African-American Rhodes Scholar"

          by Shippensburg University's Raymond E. Janifer, Ph.D, Director of the Ethnic Studies Program

John Edgar Widman Discusses His Writing Experience