Complete summary of John Edgar Wideman’s Brothers and Keepers. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Brothers and Keepers. Writing. Issuu is a digital publishing platform that makes it simple to publish magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books, and more online. Easily share. Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman focuses on John, the narrator, who is an educated black man, and his brother, Robby, who serves a life sentence.

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The middle moves along because the bad brother tells the story who thankfully uses a lot less adjectives and a lot more verbs.

Nor should there be. As a celebrated teacher and writer he has made it. The more you delve and backtrack and think, the more edgzr it becomes that nothing has a discrete, independent history; people and events take shape not in orderly, chronological sequence but in relation to other forces and events, tangled skeins of necessity and interdependence and chance that after all could have produced only one result: In March,he self-published “Briefs,” a new collection of microstories, on Lulu.

In a moment of privacy looking at infant Jamila, John’s daughter, John almost asks Robby about the robbery and murder, but he cannot.

John begins his annual visits to Western State Penitentiary, where Robby is a prisoner. I would recommend this book only to those who are uneducated on racial issues that occur involving the United States criminal justice system. Writing to Save a Life: I appreciated Robby’s part of the story because I could sympathize with him and his perspective created conflicting emotions between what John felt about him and what I, the reader, felt about him.

I only ordered the book because I knew the Widemans and went through school with the authors boys. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Politicians still have to take a stand on rights for people who aren’t white. He was stubborn, aggressive, and prickly enough not to allow anyone to bully him into the tunnel.


Wideman gives added brotuers and dimension to this book about the contrary jobn and goals of two brothers. Reading this for our Let’s Talk About It group. His personal success in the system has produced, “A self no more or less in control than the countless other selves who each, for a time, seem to be running things. See all 34 reviews.

John Edgar Wideman has such a family history: His year-younger brother, Robby, robbed and murdered someone in and is in prison for life.

It is November He is a man without a determinate history johnn all: Sep 18, Brian rated it did not like it. Wideman recalls the capture of his younger brother Robby, details the subsequent trials that resulted in a sentence of life in prison, and provides vivid views of the American prison system.

Thematically, Brothers and Keepers is a story about all the different kinds of freedom, artistic, spiritual, economic, social, political, etc. A Memoir by John Edgar Wideman. This part of the story cooks along but then gets bogged down again when the story comes to the present.

Books by John Edgar Wideman. The fact that his brother got a life sentence was due to having previous incarcerations.

John Edgar Wideman is black and became an English professor. Sadly enough, he is the first and last graduate because the program’s funding is cut. Where do you start? He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and he is a successful writer and professor. John Edgar Wideman is black and became an English widsman.

Robby continues onto Los Angeles, but the others go back to Pittsburgh. Robert writes and talks to him about his experiences in the prison, and also earned a college degree whilst in prison. A treacherous convergence of selfishness and caring for another and ego and wanting to be bigger, better than you are and valuing the truth and profiting from untruth and wishing for the best and dreading the worst; a welter of conflicting emotions, a nexus of irresolution and despair, of self-pity and self-disgust, desire and guilt.


BROTHERS AND KEEPERS by John Edgar Wideman | Kirkus Reviews

Robby was arrested and convicted of murder in the early s and was sentenced to life in prison. The book probed my interest at first, but was unable to fully capture edgarr and I set the book down to be read later.

The Prison Letters of George Jackson. Dec 25, Roslinda rated it it was amazing. I was trying to fit myself in John’s shoes and Robby’s shoes at the same time.

Brothers and Keepers

The story of two brothers one of whom was part of a robbery that killed a man and is serving a life sentence. John chose a path in life to egar up out of the ghetto via education. Wideman writes as a man sitting on a knife-edge.

He began his downward spiral into heroin and selling aand on the streets. So, a bit of a mixed bag for me for this one. Getting to the present the good brother takes back over and has nothing to contribute to the story but more pointless verbiage.

Here, then, after long prison-visit talks with Robby, Wideman tries to snd it all together–in a dense, restless, tortured mosaic that only occasionally adds illumination to the central knot of anguish. Wanted for armed robbery and murder, Robert and his accomplices ran for ekepers months. A gripping, unsettling account, Brothers and Keepers weighs the bonds of blood, tenderness, and guilt that connect Wideman to his brother and measures the distance that lies between them.

Explore the Home Gift Guide. Not even his memories are secure.

By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. In general, I found the dialogue between the two voices to be thoughtful and illuminating.