Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
Description: The murder of Emmett Till is a familiar story, it has become American legend. But one twist in the Till story is rarely mentioned: just ten years earlier, Louis Till, Emmett's father, was executed by the army. In 1955, when both boys were fourteen years old, Wideman saw the horrific photograph of dead Emmett's battered face. Decades later, upon discovering that Louis had been court-martialled and hanged, he was impelled to investigate the intertwined fates of father and son. In Writing to Save a Life, Wideman brings extraordinary insight and intimacy to this devastating story. Part exploration and part meditation, it is a conversation between generations, the living and the dead.
Review: At times melancholy, at others raw and rippling with rage, Wideman masterfully weaves together memory, history and archival documents . . . Haunting, provocative, and inspired * * Washington Post * * A mercurial coupling of fact and fiction from a profound writer -- RICHARD FORD A quietly harrowing postscript to the tragedy of Emmett Till . . . A searching account * * New York Times Book Review * * A great American writer -- JOY WILLIAMS A genre-defying mix of history, biography, and memoir * * Philadelphia Inquirer * * Haunting * * New York Magazine * * A book seething with the passion and sense of outrage behind the Black Lives Matter movement that also traces specific roots of the movement's genealogy * * Kirkus Reviews * *
Author Biography: John Edgar Wideman's books include Writing to Save a Life, Philadelphia Fire, Brothers and Keepers, Fatheralong, Hoop Dreams, 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. He divides his time between New York and France.