John Edgar Wideman

John Edgar Wideman is an American author known for his novels, memoirs, and short stories that often explore themes of race, identity, and personal history. His notable works include 'Brothers and Keepers,' which examines the divergent paths taken by Wideman and his brother, and 'Philadelphia Fire,' inspired by the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia. Wideman is also a recipient of the MacArthur 'Genius' Grant and has been awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction twice.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Sent for You Yesterday

    The book is a poignant tale set in Homewood, Pittsburgh, which explores themes of love, loss, and the power of memory. The narrative revolves around a trio of characters - Albert Wilkes, a charismatic but troubled musician who returns home after a seven-year absence; Lucy, the woman he left behind, and her brother Carl who has always looked up to Albert. As they navigate their complex relationships and personal demons, the story delves into the historical and societal realities of the African-American community in the 20th century.

  2. 2. Philadelphia fire

    This novel is a fictional account of the real-life 1985 bombing in Philadelphia that destroyed a predominantly black neighborhood. The story is told from the perspective of a writer who returns to his hometown to try to make sense of the tragedy. The narrative explores themes of race, poverty, and the destructive power of the state, while also delving into the personal trauma and guilt felt by the protagonist. The novel is a poignant exploration of the lasting impact of violence and the struggle for justice and understanding.