Segments in this Video

Professor Wideman's Viewpoints (02:24)


John Wideman is noted for his narrative technique and conflicted characters. Wideman discusses the gift of writing and his view of the world with his creative writing class at the University of Massachusetts.

Finding a Space to Exist (01:58)

John Wideman discusses the family influence that helped him balance boldness with the challenges of being Black. Wideman believes that African Americans cannot remain whole if they cut their ties to their community.

"The Lynchers" (03:04)

Published in 1973, John Wideman uses an inner city setting for this dark novel. Wideman discusses the current direction of society, what it means to be Black, and inequality.

"Philadelphia Fire" (04:24)

John Wideman's brooding novel highlights intolerance and power. Wideman discusses his commitment to understanding and placing a coherent vision of life in his books. Wideman discusses the primal language of humans.

Wideman's Experience of Literature (03:18)

John Wideman expresses how writing helps him navigate the world. Some critics call Wideman's writing style "dream time." Wideman explains where he believes the past exists and the medium of time.

"The Black Faulkner" (03:51)

John Wideman discusses the difficulty of not knowing where one stands as a writer and the economics of the book trade. Wideman has received criticism for his emphasis or non-emphasis of his characters' race in his novels.

"Hostages" (01:36)

An expert reads an excerpt from John Wideman's novel. Wideman discusses the resonance of this novel for African Americans.

"Brothers and Keepers" (02:33)

This novel is John Wideman's only non-fiction work. Wideman discusses the importance of a network with the intent to care. We hear an excerpt from "Brothers and Keepers."

Credits: John Wideman (01:55)

Credits: John Wideman

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John Wideman

DVD Price: $99.95



This program focuses on the author of Sent for You Yesterday, Damballah, and Hiding Place, the man who, perhaps better than any other, epitomizes the painful split between middle-class blacks and the black urban underclass. In discussing his Brothers and Keepers—his memoir of a brother now serving a life term in prison—Wideman explores the factors that condemn one man to imprisonment, while another is able to transform a Pittsburgh ghetto, where both were raised, into a mythic place in the American literary imagination. (26 minutes)

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL4623

Copyright date: ©1994

Closed Captioned

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