One of John Wideman&’s most ambitious and celebrated works, the lyrical masterpiece and PEN/Faulkner winner inspired by the 1985 police bombing of the West Philadelphia row house owned by black liberation group Move.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.
- 2018 John Edgar Wideman
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