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With novels like Damballah and Hiding Place, John Edgar Wideman began his career in an explicitly modernist vein--indeed, his chronicles of life in the Pittsburgh ghetto of Homewood had more than a trace of a Joycean accent. The autobiographical Brothers and Keepers, however, allowed the writer to find his own voice. Perhaps this dual portrait of the author and his brother Robby--serving, then and now, a life sentence for a murder committed during a bungled robbery--finally forced Wideman to fuse the modernist trappings of his earlier work with the storytelling traditions of African American culture. "My memories needed his," the author recalls. "Maybe the fact that we recall different things is crucial. Maybe they are foreground and background, propping each other up." In any case, the Rashomon-like result is a raw meditation on fate and family, as well as an indictment of our entire notion of crime and (especially) punishment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Wideman, novelist and professor at the University of Wyoming, seeks to understand how he and his brother, who is serving a life sentence for murder, could have such disparate lives after a childhood together in a Pittsburgh ghetto. Ruthless about himself, particularly about his move into the upper middle-class as a "black intellectual," Wideman characterizes his brother as an intelligent, loving, proud dreamer. He raises "existential questions" about culture, racism and the "grief and guilt of a brother," PW wrote. November
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
wideman tells an excellent tale about how two siblings of the same environment can go on to lead totally different lives. One brother is a world reknowned novelist and professor. Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by shawntale
An extraordinary tale of two brothers. One convicted of murder, another an English professor. Two lives. Two paths taken. Read morePublished on April 2 2003 by Lynne
this is a devastating, complex work which fully explores the ambiguities surrounding issues of racism, crime, and family in America. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2000
What a poignant,powerful book about the choices we are offered within our lives. I, too, have a younger brother that "did time" for a crime and can share many of the... Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2000 by Kimberly McMaster
Brothers and Keepers, in the beginning, was an interesting piece of work, about a man who makes his way to the top in a racist and oppressive society. Read morePublished on Nov. 29 1999