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Philadelphia Fire
JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN

Philadelphia Fire by John Edgar Wideman
8 reviews (1990) (208p)
PEN/Faulkner Award Winner

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Book Description
"A passionate, angry and formally fascinating novel of urban disintegration."

-- The New York Times Book Review

Philadelphia Fire is the most ambitious, most highly praised, and best-selling work of fiction by "one of America's premier writers of fiction" (The York Times). Based on the 1985 bombing police of a West Philadelphia row house owned the Afrocentric cult Move, it tells of Cudjoe, a writer who returns to his old neighborhood after a decade of self-imposed exile, obsessed with finding the lone boy who was seen running from the flames.

"A book brimming over with brutal, emotional honesty and moments of beautiful prose lyricism."

-- Charles Johnson, Washington Post Book World

"A blaze of rage...Wideman's genius for impassioned imagery triumphs and Philadelphia Fire delivers its message with a careening momentum and astonishing precision.... Wideman [is] our most powerful and accomplished artist of the urban black world."

-- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Like the Russian master [Dostoevsky], Wideman probes the torments of the soul.... [He] is fashioning some of the most powerful literature today." -- U.S. News & World Report


Amazon.com Review
When African-American writer Cudjoe returns to his hometown of Philadelphia to write a book about the 1985 police firebombing of a black cult, his homecoming spurs within him a myriad of memories and impressions. While recalling the abandonment of his white wife and two children, his failed novel and a dead mentor, he provides rich observation about the about the crumbling state of a once-beloved city. As his research unfolds, he examines issues of sex, race and the life of the city, ultimately uncovering information that sets the entire city into motion. Philadelphia Fire won the PEN/Faulkner Award for 1991.


Other Award Winning Books by John Edgar Wideman
BROTHERS AND KEEPERS by John Edgar Wideman
14 reviews (1984) (272p) (NYTimes Non)
Read Reviews | Visit this book's Amazon.com page
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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