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John Edgar Wideman is the distinguished author of nearly 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels Two Cities, The Cattle Killing, Fever and Philadelphia Fire. His articles, short stories, book reviews, and poetry have appeared widely in periodicals. Previously Distinguished Professor and Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Wideman has received many awards and honors, including an O. Henry Award, a Reader's Digest/Lila Wallace Grant, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Rea Prize for Short Fiction, and the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction.
Mr. Wideman was appointed the Asa Messer Professor and Professor of Africana Studies and Literary Arts in 2004. He retired from teaching in 2014.