Name John Wideman
|Born June 14, 1941 (age 74)Washington, D.C. (1941-06-14) |
Alma mater University of PennsylvaniaNew College, Oxford
Spouse Judith Ann Goldman (1965–2000)
Education University of Iowa, Peabody High School, University of Oxford, New College, Oxford, University of Pennsylvania
Awards PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, MacArthur Fellowship
Nominations National Book Award for Nonfiction
Books Brothers and keepers, Philadelphia Fire, Sent for You Yesterday, The Cattle Killing, Fatheralong
Similar People Jennifer Eaton Gokmen, Joseph Campbell, Thomas Bulfinch, Anastasia M Ashman, Louis Untermeyer
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- Early life
- Writing and teaching career
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Wideman was born on June 14, 1941. He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US, and much of his writing is set there, especially in the Homewood neighborhood of the East End. He graduated from Pittsburgh's Peabody High School, then attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he became an All-Ivy League forward on the basketball team. In 1962 he was the second African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship (New College, Oxford, England), graduating in 1966. He also graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa.
Writing and teaching career
A widely celebrated writer and the winner of many literary awards, he is the first to win the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice: in 1984 for Sent for You Yesterday and in 1990 for Philadelphia Fire. In 2000, he won the O. Henry Award for his short story "Weight", published in Callaloo journal. Following the publication of the Homewood trilogy, The New York Times proclaimed John Edgar Wideman, "one of America's premier writers of fiction."
He has taught at the University of Wyoming, University of Pennsylvania, where he founded and chaired the African American Studies Department, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst's MFA Program for Poets & Writers. He currently is a professor at Brown University.
Wideman has been the recipient of a number of awards for his writing. His 1990 novel Philadelphia Fire won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1990, and the American Book Awards in 1991. His non-fiction book Brothers and Keepers received a National Book Critics Circle nomination, and his memoir Fatheralong was a finalist for the National Book Award. In 1997, his novel The Cattle Killing won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction.
Wideman was chosen as winner of the Rea Award for the Short Story in 1998, for outstanding achievement, and won the lifetime achievement award of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards in 2011.
Wideman is also the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant. In 2016, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In 1965 he married Judith Ann Goldman, an attorney, with whom he has three children: Daniel, Jacob, and Jamila. That marriage ended in divorce in 2000. In 2004 he married French journalist Catherine Nedonchelle, with whom he resides on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City.