In 1985 police bombed a West Philadelphia row house. Eleven people died and a fire started that destroyed sixty other houses. John Edgar Wideman brings these events and their repercussions to shocking life in this seminal novel.
At the heart of Philadelphia Fire is Cudjoe, a writer and exile who returns to his old neighbourhood and who becomes obsessed with the search for a lone survivor of the event, a young boy seen running from the flames.
One of Wideman's most ambitious and celebrated works, Philadelphia Fire is about race, life and survival in urban America.
John Edgar Wideman's books include Writing to Save a Life, American Histories, Brothers and Keepers, Fatheralong, Hoop Roots and Sent for You Yesterday. He is a MacArthur Fellow and has won the PEN/Faulkner Award twice and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award. In 2017, he won the the Prix Femina Etranger for Writing to Save a Life. He divides his time between New York and France.