John Edgar Wideman born June 14, is an American author of novels, memoirs, short stories, essays, and other works. His writing is known for experimental techniques and a focus on the African-American experience. Raised in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , Wideman excelled as a student athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his work as a writer, Wideman has had a career in academia as a literature and creative writing professor at both public and Ivy League universities.
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Preview — Damballah by John Edgar Wideman. This collection of interrelated stories spans the history of Homewood, a Pittsburgh community founded by a runaway slave. With stunning lyricism, Wideman sings of "dead children in garbage cans, of gospel and basketball, of lost gods and dead fathers" John Leonard. It is a celebration of people who, in the face of crisis, uphold one another--with grace, courage, and dign This collection of interrelated stories spans the history of Homewood, a Pittsburgh community founded by a runaway slave.
It is a celebration of people who, in the face of crisis, uphold one another--with grace, courage, and dignity. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published July 6th by Mariner Books first published More Details Original Title.
Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Damballah , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. Sort order. Start your review of Damballah. Jul 13, Grady rated it really liked it Shelves: black-america.
These are sad, hard stories about different members of an African American family extended across at least six generations. The style is modernist and literary - understated, often oblique, but conveying great weights of loss, suffering, and the enduring experience of poverty and racial injustice.
What makes it particularly hard to read is the knowledge that many of the stories are informed by the history of Wideman's real-world family. It's not at all clear in this book whether the arc of histo These are sad, hard stories about different members of an African American family extended across at least six generations. It's not at all clear in this book whether the arc of history bends in any direction, just that there will be complicated people fighting to shape their own lives every step of the way.
Dec 24, Alshimaa Mohamed rated it liked it Shelves: , skipped-a-lot-of-it , historical-fiction , short-stories , philosophy , john-edgar-wideman , Mar 11, Ahmed Shahine rated it it was amazing. Grady rated it really liked it These are sad, hard stories about different members of an African American family extended across at least six generations. It's not at all clear in this Grady rated it really liked it These are sad, hard stories about different members of an African American family extended across at least six generations.
It's not at all clear in this book whether the arc of Jul 06, Jason rated it it was amazing. The most powerful fiction if it is really fiction , I've read in years.
Feb 25, Patrick rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is another installment of the Homewood Series and worth reading.
The novel begins on a plantation and ends with some of the original settlers of Homewood. The bulk of the novel is an exploration of the Wideman family through oral folklore. The narrators change, usually the person in question narrates their own story, covering a long timeline and many aspects of the family. We are first introduced to Orion, a slave, who is decapitated for exposing himself to the mistress of the house.
John F This is another installment of the Homewood Series and worth reading. John French is front and center in this tale. But we are also introduced to Reba Love Jackson, a legend on the gospel circuit. Even covering Tommy on the run after the robbery gone bad. This is a very impressive collage of an African-American family.
Using the perspective of different relatives to tell the story of births, deaths and tragedies, leads to a thorough picture of life in Homewood throughout the decades. There is a dignity in poverty portrayed is this novel. Jul 31, Joy Curtis rated it it was amazing. I did not understand all ofbthe connections but for some reason that was nh favorite part cause it was nice to read something that was so unique I could not predict the characters or the themes but I had to think bout them and reread sections tip they made sense.
I really loved the book, but be prepared for language and content. Apr 03, Mike Lemon rated it really liked it. I come to this book as a ghost. I read it for my postmodern American literature class, and frankly, did not understand some of it. However, what I did understand, the importance of remembering the dead, storytelling, and family, comes across beautifully in Wideman's work.
As he explores the idea of forging ties to the lost, African American past, Wideman creates an incredible microcosm, Homewood. I highly recommend this book, as well as the documentary "Jack Johnson: Unforgivable Blackness.
Mar 13, Mitchell rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this book. It's basically a collage of stories of a family that is the offspring of a runaway slave. All the stories seem to be dealing with how to keep faith in God and goodness in the face of a world where everything is confusing and finding a purpose is never fully possible. Very spiritually enlightening. Loved it. Sep 09, Scott rated it liked it Recommends it for: students of african-american literature.
Difficult to read, and discouraging except for the doggedly-determined. Wideman does a great job of interweaving the lives of Homewood's citizens, as well as incorporating his own life's experiences into the stories. View 1 comment. Jan 07, Pia rated it it was amazing.
Wideman is the consumate storyteller and these stories pulled me in with their ferocious beauty. Jan 01, Frankie Frasure rated it it was amazing. Excellent read! Truly captures the essence of the characters and draws you in to the moment. Apr 07, John Watson is currently reading it. Wideman focuses on lyrical phrasing as he weaves his stories about childhood stories from his home town. Beautifully crafted. Aug 15, Erin rated it really liked it Shelves: africanamerican , shortstories.
I loved his lyrical prose, deeply human characters, and strong sense of place. Homewood was vividly created, and I appreciated its small but important victories in the midst of desperation and decay. Damballah by John Edgar Wideman There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. Short Stories. Literary Fiction. About John Edgar Wideman. John Edgar Wideman. In he won the O. In March, , he self-published "Briefs," a new collection of microstories, on Lulu.
John Edgar Wideman