A World Built on Bondage: Racism and Human Diversity in Award-Winning Fiction

Sun. March 24, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center

233 4th St NW, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Sponsored by: Wells Fargo, the Charlottesville Sister Cities Commission, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards presented by the Cleveland Foundation

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Esi Edugyan (Washington Black) and John Edgar Wideman (American Histories) discuss the meanings of race, violence, and freedom, as explored in their acclaimed fiction. Edugyan and Wideman each received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for an earlier novel; they are accompanied in conversation with Award jury member Rita Dove.

This discussion of their work, reflections on historic injustices, and writing that helps make the American story a complete story will be the official closing program of the Festival, and seeks to support and celebrate diversity while working towards understanding the invasive and structural roots of racism. Following the discussion, speakers will welcome audience questions. Book sales and signing will follow. FREE to attend and open to the public.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Kevin Powers has had to cancel his participation in the Festival.

Watch this book talk live on Facebook »

Why should you attend?

“Gripping… Astonishing… Washington Black’s presence in these pages is fierce and unsettling. His urge to live all he can is matched by his eloquence.” —Colm Toibin, The New York Times Book Review

“Perfectly executed… Soaring… More than a tale of human bondage, [Washington Black is] also an enthralling meditation on the weight of freedom, wrapped in a rousing adventure story stretching to the ends of the earth.” —Renée Graham, The Boston Globe

“John Edgar Wideman has established himself as one of the country’s most formally inventive writers… an important addition to Mr. Wideman’s body of writing and a remarkable demonstration of his ability to address social issues through a range of fictional forms and styles.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A powerful assemblage of short stories exploring late-in-life angst through personal myth, cultural memory, and riffs on an empire scorched by its own hubris… His prose, its twisting suntax, is a kind of stylish jazz of his own making.”—O Magazine