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
Wow. Powerful stories. I read one in an anthology and it inspired me to read more. I've been missing out, and at the same time I'm glad that I have a lot of Wideman's work to look forward to reading.
This book is difficult to read. I don't mean “difficult to read” in the sense that it is a portraying a reality too horrible and too injustice to contemplate, although the reality that it is attempting to portray is indeed horrible and unjust. It is difficult to read in the sense that it is often difficult to tell what exactly is happening in the stories and who is doing what to whom.
It is of course not necessary for every book to be entertaining in the way that, for example, books by J. K. Rowl ...more
I'm always very interested in John Brown, so got this book bc of his "conversation" with Frederick Douglass. I read thru most of that first section and looked at other sections.
Didn't care for freestyle prose.
Not what I was expected, but obviously my shortcoming, not Wideman's.
John Edgar Wideman has been writing for decades, his work often mention as being in the vein of other famous black writers before him: Ellison, Wright, Himes, etc. I own several of his other works but this is the first I've picked up and I'm a little on the fence about it.
While his writing is certainly strong, and makes me interested in reading more of his work, his style at times is almost opaquely dense. He goes off on these long, meandering tangents, which are lyrical and beautiful but ultim ...more