Readings from Work in Progress
JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN
MONDAY, APRIL 5, 1993

John Wideman's fiction gives one of the most trenchant
portraits of the pain of the urban African-American
experience and expresses the need and desire to find some order
in that experience. His fiction is known for its dazzling energy
and narrative experimentation.

The Stories of John Edgar Wideman was published in 1992.
Wideman's most recent novel and his tenth book, Philadelphia
Fire
, published in 1990, was awarded the 1991 PEN/Faulkner
Prize for Fiction. This was Wideman's second PEN award. Sent
for You Yesterday
received the PEN/Faulkner Prize for Fiction in
1984 and was listed as one of the 15 best books of 1983 by the
New York Times Book Review. Brothers and Keepers, published in
1984, received the DuSable Museum prize for non-fiction.

Wideman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania
with a B.A. in English in 1963. As a Rhodes scholar, Wideman
spent three years in England, receiving a B.Phil. degree from
Oxford in 1966. He subsequently spent a year at the University
of Iowa Writers Workshop. Since 1974 Wideman had been a
professor of English at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, and
in 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts
at Amherst as a full professor of English. Wideman teaches
courses in creative writing and African-American literature.