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John Edgar Wideman

2011 Lifetime Achievement

Lifetime - John Edgar Wideman
John Edgar Wideman grew up in Pittsburgh, a city that figures prominently in his writing. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he became an All-Ivy League forward on the basketball team. He was the second African-American to win a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University.

Wideman is a widely celebrated author. He was the first writer to win the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice: in1984 for Sent for You Yesterday and in 1990 for Philadelphia Fire. In 1997, his novel, Cattle Killing, won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction. Wideman also won the O. Henry Award in 2000 for his short story, Weight.

A MacArthur fellow, Wideman is the author of 13 novels, six collections of short stories, and two memoirs. He is a professor at Brown University and sits on the editorial board of the literary journal Conjunctions. Wideman began his teaching career at the University of Pennsylvania, where he founded and chaired the African-American Studies Department.

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Blog Posts about John Edgar Wideman

"A World Built On Bondage": Anisfield-Wolf Authors Close The 2019 Virginia Festival Of The Book

Esi Edugyan (Washington Black) and John Edgar Wideman (American Histories) discuss the meanings of race, violence, and freedom, as explored in their acclaimed fiction. Edugyan and Wideman each received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for an earlier novel; they are accompanied in conversation with Award jury member Rita Dove. This discussion of their work, reflections on historic injustices, and writing that helps make the American story a complete story will be the official closing program of the Festival, and seeks to support and celebrate... Read More →

"A World Built On Bondage": Anisfield-Wolf Authors To Close 2019 Virginia Festival Of The Book

For the second consecutive year, Anisfield-Wolf award-winning authors will close the Virginia Festival of the Book. On March 24, two maestros of fiction – Esi Edugyan (Washington Black) and John Edgar Wideman (American Histories) – will join poet Rita Dove to discuss how their historically-attuned writings pierce the legacies of racism. Dove, an Anisfield-Wolf juror and the University of Virginia Commonwealth Professor of English, will moderate. She also led the inaugural Anisfield-Wolf panel at the Virginia festival, which... Read More →

10 Gems From 2018 That Deserve A Spot On Your 2019 Reading List

As we bid adieu to 2018, allow us to shine a last, lingering reading light on ten highlights: the year’s titles from Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners.  It should surprise no one that several are already acclaimed as the best-of-the-year. All are worth reading. “American Histories: Stories” by John Edgar Wideman  In the latest literary stroke from an American master, these 21 short stories “are linked by astringent wit, audacious invention and a dry sensibility,” according to one critic. Another calls them... Read More →

Public Art Inspired By Anisfield-Wolf Canon Makes A Splash Across Cleveland

Riders heading to downtown Cleveland on the RTA’s Red Line may have noticed quite a few more pops of color adorning the city landscape over the past two weeks. The colors have a story, and each story comes from a work or writer in the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award canon.Inter|Urban, the collaboration among the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, North East Ohio Area Coordinating Agency, RTA and LAND studio, has filled the 19-mile stretch from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and into downtown Cleveland with bright, vibrant... Read More →

VIDEO: Young Actor Performs John Edgar Wideman's "Bananas"

The world of publishing is changing right before our eyes, with established authors choosing to go the self-publishing route. Anisfield-Wolf's very own John Edgar Wideman chose to self-publish his collection of short stories, Briefs, with Lulu.com in 2010. Check out this video of young actor Theron Cook giving a steady performance of one of his stories, "Bananas." Read More →

Ronn Richard 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Remarks

(Left to Right) David Eltis and David Richardson, authors of “Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade” Isabel Wilkerson, author of “The Warmth of Other Suns” Nicole Krauss, author of “Great House” Mary Helen Stefaniak, author of “The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia” John Edgar Wideman, winner of Lifetime Achievement Award Essence Cain, poet “In the Flower Market” (front) Good evening. I’m Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. It’s my great pleasure to welcome you to the 76th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see a full house for our opening night here in Playhouse Square.We will always think back upon our years at the Cleveland Play House with nostalgia. But the change in venue didn’t slow demand for almost 1,000 tickets, most of which were snapped up the first week. That’s a testament to the respect this prize commands – and... Read More →

76th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize Winners Announced

CLEVELAND, Ohio (April 12, 2011) – The Cleveland Foundation today announced the winners of the 76th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards www.Anisfield-Wolf.org They are: Nicole Krauss, Great House, Fiction Mary Helen Stefaniak, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, Fiction David Eltis/David Richardson, Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Nonfiction Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns, Nonfiction John Edgar Wideman, Lifetime Achievement “The 2011 Anisfield-Wolf winners are notable for the unique way each author addresses the... Read More →
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