All Stories Are True: History, Myth, and Trauma in the Work of John Edgar Wideman (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies) Tracie Church Guzzio

ISBN:

Published: May 17th 2011

Kindle Edition

331 pages


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All Stories Are True: History, Myth, and Trauma in the Work of John Edgar Wideman (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies)  by  Tracie Church Guzzio

All Stories Are True: History, Myth, and Trauma in the Work of John Edgar Wideman (Margaret Walker Alexander Series in African American Studies) by Tracie Church Guzzio
May 17th 2011 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 331 pages | ISBN: | 9.65 Mb

In All Stories Are True, Tracie Church Guzzio provides the first full-length study of John Edgar Widemans entire oeuvre to date. Specifically, Guzzio examines the ways in which Wideman (b. 1941) engages with three crucial themes-history, myth, and trauma-throughout his career, showing how they intertwine. Guzzio argues that, for four decades, the influential African American writer has endeavored to create a version of the African American experience that runs counter to mainstream interpretations, using history and myth to confront and then heal the trauma caused by slavery and racism.Widemans work intentionally blurs boundaries between fiction and autobiography, myth and history, particularly as that history relates to African American experience in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The fusion of fiction, national history, and Widemans personal life is characteristic of his style, which-due to its complexity and smudging of genre distinctions-has presented analytic difficulties for literary scholars. Despite winning the PEN/Faulkner award twice, for Sent for You Yesterday (1984) and Philadelphia Fire (1990), Wideman remains under-studied.Of particular value is Guzzios analysis of the many ways in which Wideman alludes to his previous works. This intertextuality allows Wideman to engage his books in direct, intentional dialogue with each other through repeated characters, images, folktales, and songs.

In Widemans challenging of a monolithic view of history and presenting alternative perspectives to it, and his allowing past, present, and future time to remain fluid in the narratives, Guzzio finds an author firm in his notion that all stories and all perspectives have merit.



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