John Edgar Wideman, whose life Salon has called "as dramatic as any of his brooding, Faulknerian novels," is the author of numerous published works that explore the struggles of marginalized African Americans as they attempt to survive in a hostile, sometimes insurmountable environment.

Wideman, who has gained attention from readers, critics, and awards committees alike for his linguistic vitality and stylistic multifariousness, will present "An Evening with John Edgar Wideman," part of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language series exploring the theme "Crime."

The talk will take place on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at 7:30 p.m., in Staples Auditorium on the Hendrix College campus. A book signing and reception will follow in the Mills Center. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is co-sponsored by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language, which are designed to enhance and enrich the study and teaching of literature and language at Hendrix College, and by the Robert and Lillian Drake Endowed Lectureship, which was established in 2001 by Robert Y. Drake, Jr., in memory of his parents.  For more information about this and future Hendrix-Murphy events, contact Henryetta Vanaman, 501-450-4597 or

After 43 years of a prolific career, John Edgar Wideman remains a literary vanguard. He is the author of 10 novels, two memoirs, several collections of short fiction, and a meditation-memoir hybrid.

Wideman is the only individual to have been awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award twice — in 1984 for Sent for You Yesterday and in 1990 for Philadelphia Fire.

He also received the O. Henry Award for his short story "Weight" in 2000.

Wideman’s other awards and honors include the American Book Award for Fiction, the Rea Award for the short story, the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Magazine Editors’ Prize for Short Fiction, and a National Book Critics Circle Nomination.

His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue, Esquire, Emerge, and the New York Times Magazine. He is also subject of Conversations with John Edgar Wideman, a collection of nineteen interviews spanning three decades.

Wideman teaches at Brown University as a Professor of Africana Studies and English.