When I went to my grandmother’s house, not only was my grandmother around, but her mother lived in Homewood, and then there were great aunts; and, of course, there was my grandfather and his friends. WIDEMAN My aunt Geraldine was the unofficial historian and storyteller.
When I went to my grandmother’s house, not only was my grandmother around, but her mother lived in Homewood, and then there were great aunts; and, of course, there was my grandfather and his friends. WIDEMAN My aunt Geraldine was the unofficial historian and storyteller.Tags: Essay Writing Assignment HelpEssay On Player PianoBusiness Plan Draft SampleHow To Draw Business PlanReview Of Literature On Job SatisfactionJohn Smith EssaysAncient Architecture EssayFigurative Language Essay
INTERVIEWER Since there are competing oral versions, where do truth and imagination combine to create a full story? In Haiti, as I understand it, storytelling and history itself are not a business of necessarily elucidating facts or the truth of an incident, but finding the version that is most entertaining and therefore will get retold and live in immortality. There were a lot of books in my house, so that was another source. Movies and TV were much less a part of daily life—there was nothing to grab the imagination.
WIDEMAN Truth becomes a function of the choral nature of the exchanges. When I read that about Haitian folklore and history, it struck home—it’s exactly what I observed in my own family. Books were my Internet, my TV, my movies all rolled into one.
Since 2004, Wideman has been Assa Messer Professor and Professor and Africana Studies and English at Brown University.
During the six years that he taught at the University of Pennsylvania, he became their first Black tenured professor, created their first African American studies program, (which he chaired from 1971-1973), and had his first book, , published.
Stories are told over time, and so they naturally accrue meanings. INTERVIEWER It wasn’t a sense of escape from something unhappy, then, but simply a longing for something exotic? I spent a lot of time inside my own head, a lot of time sort of staring into space wondering what the hell was going on.
I had solitary instincts when I was very young, and reading was a way to make that time a little more entertaining.
The Homewood neighborhood in Pittsburgh where he spent his youth serves as the setting for a number of his books.
That’s the difference between learning about Homewood through my writing and learning about Homewood from sociologists.
A second conversation took place last fall at a crowded restaurant in Boston.
In both meetings, Wideman spoke for hours, only occasionally raising his voice above a near whisper.