Ben Okri

Quest for Freedom

Brothers and Keepers

By John Edgar Wideman

Allison and Busby 243pp £9.95 order from our bookshop

When John Edgar Wideman won the PEN Faulkner award in America last year, it was more than a sign that he was beginning to get the recognition he long deserved. With six books (fifteen years of writing) behind him, and at the age of forty-two, Wideman now felt that he was being read. About the award, which was for the final part of his Homewood trilogy Sent For You Yesterday, he said: ‘It was the ingredient I needed.’ Among the nominees were writers like Bernard Malamud and William Kennedy.

Wideman’s new book Brothers and Keepers is a work of non-fiction. It is the story of two black brothers forced along different paths by the weight of American society