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book cover of Philadelphia Fire

Philadelphia Fire

A novel by

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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Hardback Editions

January 1991 : USA Hardback

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

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

January 2005 : USA Paperback

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

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

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   

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