Look for Me and I’ll Be Gone: Stories
by John Edgar Wideman
Publication Date: Nov 09, 2021
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
From John Edgar Wideman, “a master [who] boldly subverts what a short story can be” (Publishers Weekly) comes a stunning story collection that spans a range of topics from Michael Jordan to Emmett Till, from childhood memories to the final day in a prison cell.
Forty years after John Edgar Wideman’s first collection of stories was published, he continues to produce new stories of the highest caliber and relevancy. Here, in his sixth story collection, he revisits themes that have infused his work for the duration of his career: family, loss, the penal system, Pittsburgh, physical and emotional life, art, and memory.
Stories include “Separation,” which begins with a boy standing alone beside his grandfather’s coffin, progressing to a scene with the narrator’s grandmother paying the funeral director weekly installments for the price of the casket. “Arizona,” which appeared in The New Yorker, is written in the form of a letter to singer Freddie Jackson, whose song “You Are My Lady,” enters the story through a car radio—a car that conveys the narrator’s son and his lawyers to a prison cell in Arizona. “Atlanta Murders” contemplates James Baldwin’s Evidence of Things Not Seen, written about the Atlanta child murders from 1979 to 1981, beginning with a riff on a “why-did-the chicken-cross-the-road” joke that takes a dark turn.