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BROTHERS AND KEEPERS
JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN

BROTHERS AND KEEPERS by John Edgar Wideman
14 reviews (1984) (272p)
New York TimesĀ® Best Nonfiction Books

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Book Description
A haunting portrait of lives arriving at different destinies, Brothers and Keepers is John Edgar Wideman's seminal memoir about two brothers — one an award-winning novelist, the other a fugitive wanted for robbery and murder. Wideman recalls the capture of his younger brother Robby, details the subsequent trials that resulted in a sentence of life in prison, and provides vivid views of the American prison system.
A gripping, unsettling account, Brothers and Keepers weighs the bonds of blood, tenderness, and guilt that connect Wideman to his brother and measures the distance that lies between them.


Amazon.com Review
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.


Other Award Winning Books by John Edgar Wideman
Philadelphia Fire by John Edgar Wideman
8 reviews (1990) (208p) (PF)
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Sent For You Yesterday by John Edgar Wideman
4 reviews (1983) (208p) (PF)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page

John Edgar Wideman Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 2  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 2  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 2 Philadelphia Fire · Sent For You Yesterday ·  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 2 Philadelphia Fire · Sent For You Yesterday ·  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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