Books Like Philadelphia Fire by John Edgar Wideman | Suggested Reading

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To varying degrees, Wideman mixes fact and fiction in all of his books. His first three novels are closest to pure fiction. The Homewood Trilogy (1985) is based upon family stories. Brothers and Keepers (1984) is a factual account of Wideman's relationship with his brother Robby. But Philadelphia Fire freely mixes fact and fiction and calls attention to itself doing so. Of this trend Wideman has said, "My life is a closed book. My fiction is an open book. They may seem like the same book — but I know the difference".

In terms of subject matter, Brothers and Keepers is perhaps most closely related, dealing with violence and the social forces which create it. In terms of overall tone, the short story collection Fever (1989) proffers an equally dismal view of the world.

Wideman seems to be coming to an increasingly pessimistic stance in his writing. Philadelphia Fire...

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This section contains 161 words
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Buy the Philadelphia Fire Short Guide
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Philadelphia Fire from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.