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Table of Contents
About The Book
In 1985, police bombed a West Philadelphia row house owned by the Afrocentric cult known as Move, killing eleven people and starting a fire that destroyed sixty other houses. At the heart of Philadelphia Fire is Cudjoe, a writer and exile who returns to his old neighborhood after spending a decade fleeing from his past, and who becomes obsessed with the search for a lone survivor of the event: a young boy seen running from the flames.
Award-winning author John Edgar Wideman brings these events and their repercussions to shocking life in this seminal novel. “Reminiscent of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man” (Time) and Norman Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song, Philadelphia Fire is a masterful, culturally significant work that takes on a major historical event and takes us on a brutally honest journey through the despair and horror of life in urban America.
- Publisher: Scribner (October 6, 2020)
- Length: 208 pages
- ISBN13: 9781982148850
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Raves and Reviews
"Daring and award-winning ... Wideman’s quasi-cubist approach to storytelling — full of angular sentence shards and deft rule-breaking — explores multiple facets of the tragedy and sometimes drags the reader and the author himself onto the page."
"A passionate, angry and formally fascinating novel of urban disintegration."
—The New York Times Book Review
"A book brimming over with brutal, emotional honesty and moments of beautiful prose lyricism."
—Washington Post Book World
"A blaze of rage... Wideman's genius for impassioned imagery triumphs."
—Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Philadelphia Fire isn't a book you read so much as one you breathe."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"A pyrotechnic display... Wideman charges his sentence with energy that flares into beauty at unexpected moments... [His] work reflects extraordinary talent, will, and courage."
"Very few writers have Wideman's gifts and range. His artistic courage is rare these days."
"Like the Russian master [Dostoyevsky], Wideman probes the torments of the soul... Powerful."
—U.S. News & World Report
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): Philadelphia Fire eBook 9781982148850
- Author Photo (jpg): John Edgar Wideman ©Jean-Christian Bourcart(0.1 MB)
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