In this singular collection, John Edgar Wideman, the acclaimed author of Writing to Save a Life, blends the personal, historical, and political to invent complex, charged stories about love, death, struggle, and what we owe each other. With characters ranging from everyday Americans to Jean-Michel Basquiat to Nat Turner, American Histories is a journey through time, experience, and the soul of our country.JB & FD reimagines conversations between John Brown, the antislavery crusader who famously raided Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist and orator, conversations that belie the myth of race and produce a fantastical, ethically rich correspondence that spans years and ideologies. Maps and Ledgers eavesdrops on a brother and sister today as they ponder their fathers killing of another man. Williamsburg Bridge sits inside a man sitting on a bridge who contemplates his life before he decides to jump. My Dead is a story about how the already-departed demand more time, more space in the lives of those who survive them.Navigating an extraordinary range of subject and tone, Wideman challenges the boundaries of traditional forms, and delivers unforgettable, immersive narratives that touch the very core of what it means to be alive. An extended meditation on family, history, and loss, American Histories weaves together historical fact, philosophical wisdom, and deeply personal vignettes. More than the sum of its parts, this is Wideman at his bestemotionally precise and intellectually stimulatingan extraordinary collection by a master....
|Title||:||American Histories: Stories|
|Number of Pages||:||240 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » American » American Histories: Stories|
American Histories: Stories Reviews
In American Histories, Wideman brilliantly exploits a “threefold ordering of times”, offering the reader a story in the time of its narrator, the time in which the narrative takes place, and in historical time.
In the first story of American Histories, John Brown and Frederick Douglass debate the morality and tactics of a slave uprising. Both men are willing to give their lives, and deaths to end slavery. Wideman narrates the debate in the voices of Brown, Douglass, a modern storyteller, and stri ...more
I received a free Kindle copy of American Histories by John Edgar Wideman courtesy of Net Galley and Simon and Schuster, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.
I requested this book due to the description given on Net Galley. It sounded interesting and compelling. It is the first book by John Edgar Wideman t ...more
A book of high and lows the highs overpowering the less worthy parts. What stands out for me, a white person which is relevant in Wideman’s universe are the stories about an imagined interchange between the Abolitionist John Brown and the black philosopher Frederic Douglas, the confessions of NatTurner, his writings about being a family member visiting imprisoned loved ones and a story where a creative writing professor critiques a white student’s attempt to illuminate racism.
Especially powerfu ...more