John edgar wideman is an american writer, professor emeritus at brown university, and sits on the contributing editorial board of the literary journal conjunctions.
Although ''brothers and keepers'' is, above all, a sensitive and intimate portrayal of the lives and divergent paths taken by two brothers, john wideman's visits to prison are the source of some powerfully written scenes in which he conveys his impressions of american prisons.
Brothers and keepers is a memoir, the story of his and his brother’s very different lives – and it is also an analysis of the prison system which, in the united states, has become a booming industry first published in 1984, wideman wrote a preface for an edition published in 2005.
An excerpt of the poem paints an image of two brothers, john and robert wideman, leading unique lives robert wideman, embraced a path common for black men throughout that era a existence of criminal offense, glamour, and drugs. The line between their lives 11-2-1985 the lives of john and robert wideman in brothers and keepers. Wideman must also recognize that through [listening to his brother] he can ﬁnd his own story he lives [within his brother’s story] inasmuch as [his brother] lives within his own [t]he story is no longer simply [the brother’s], or wideman’s, or anyone’s—the story belongs to the community” (“mosaic memory” 361.
A haunting portrait of lives arriving at different destinies, brothers and keepers is john edgar wideman’s seminal memoir about two brothers — one an award-winning novelist, the other a fugitive wanted for robbery and murder.