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book cover of Philadelphia Fire

Philadelphia Fire

(1990)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction Best Book
When African-American writer Cudjoe returns to his hometown of Philadelphia to write a book about the 1985 police firebombing of a black cult, his homecoming spurs within him a myriad of memories and impressions. While recalling the abandonment of his white wife and two children, his failed novel and a dead mentor, he provides rich observation about the about the crumbling state of a once-beloved city. As his research unfolds, he examines issues of sex, race and the life of the city, ultimately uncovering information that sets the entire city into motion. Philadelphia Fire won the PEN/Faulkner Award for 1991.



"A passionate, angry and formally fascinating novel of urban disintegration."

-- The New York Times Book Review

Philadelphia Fire is the most ambitious, most highly praised, and best-selling work of fiction by "one of America's premier writers of fiction" (The York Times). Based on the 1985 bombing police of a West Philadelphia row house owned the Afrocentric cult Move, it tells of Cudjoe, a writer who returns to his old neighborhood after a decade of self-imposed exile, obsessed with finding the lone boy who was seen running from the flames.

"A book brimming over with brutal, emotional honesty and moments of beautiful prose lyricism."

-- Charles Johnson, Washington Post Book World

"A blaze of rage...Wideman's genius for impassioned imagery triumphs and Philadelphia Fire delivers its message with a careening momentum and astonishing precision.... Wideman [is] our most powerful and accomplished artist of the urban black world."

-- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Like the Russian master [Dostoevsky], Wideman probes the torments of the soul.... [He] is fashioning some of the most powerful literature today." -- U.S. News & World Report

    

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Used availability for John Edgar Wideman's Philadelphia Fire

Hardback Editions

January 1991 : USA Hardback
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Title: Philadelphia Fire
Author(s): John Edgar WIDEMAN
ISBN: 0-670-82009-1 / 978-0-670-82009-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Viking
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


August 1990 : USA Hardback
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Title: Philadelphia Fire
Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
ISBN: 0-8050-1266-4 / 978-0-8050-1266-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: Philadelphia Fire (Canons)
Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
ISBN: 1-78689-203-0 / 978-1-78689-203-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Canons
Availability: Amazon UK   


January 2005 : USA Paperback
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Title: Philadelphia Fire: A Novel
Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
ISBN: 0-618-50964-X / 978-0-618-50964-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1995 : UK Paperback
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Title: Philadelphia Fire
Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
ISBN: 0-330-32787-9 / 978-0-330-32787-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


April 1992 : UK Paperback

Title: Philadelphia Fire, The
Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
ISBN: 0-14-010596-4 / 978-0-14-010596-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


November 1991 : USA Paperback
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Title: Philadelphia Fire
Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
ISBN: 0-679-73650-6 / 978-0-679-73650-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

May 2018 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: Philadelphia Fire (Canons)
Author(s): John Edgar Wideman
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK