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Two Cities: A Love Story

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A redemptive, healing novel, Two Cities brings to brilliant culmination the themes John Edgar Wideman has developed in fourteen previous acclaimed books. It is a story of bridges -- bridges spanning the rivers of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, bridges arching over the rifts that have divided our communities, our country, our hearts. Narrated in the bluesy voices of its three ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 30th 1999 by Mariner Books (first published 1997)
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John Winston
John Edgar Wideman is the Spike Lee, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane of literature. This novel is like a good malbec: an acquired taste. Wideman breaks every grammar rule in the book in this ghetto love story: no exclamation points (I know, amateurish anyway), no question marks, no quotation marks for dialog, run-on sentences, and point of view shifts, at will. I wonder what William Strunk Jr. would say. But when you've won as many awards as Wideman has, you can break those constricting rules. ...more
La scrittura di Wideman è davvero innovativa: un flusso di coscienza che diventa un racconto, che si trasforma in un dialogo, in una lettera, poi in una telefonata...
e così scorre la storia, con una meravigliosa scarsità di punteggiatura e un background che si costruisce attorno al lettore.
Commovente il personaggio del signor Mallory, il vecchietto che andava in giro con la sua macchina fotografica in un sacchetto di plastica, ma non riusciva a compiere il suo progetto, e si vergognava delle sue
Jan 30, 2012 Olga rated it it was ok
I've read this book for an Afro-American literature course and unfortunately I was really disappointed with it. I expected something quite extraordinary as a culmination of our course since I enjoyed every single book we've read. I've never before read anything by Wideman and I was expecting a postmodernist novel about love (I was mislead by the title), I was imagining something like Ishmael Reed together with Toni Morrison, instead I've received something rather incomprehensible, a story about ...more
Michelle Despres
Jun 23, 2013 Michelle Despres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I'm being somewhat gracious with four stars. The writing was superlative - beautifully poetic and (seemingly) authentic. I liked the story too.

The title suggests that the two cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, will be characters themselves, which wasn't the case. It seemed like the cities in this book could have been Newark, Oakland, Detroit, or Chicago.

I wish the pictures would have been described better. The story, and especially its conclusion, would have been more powerful had we "seen" t
U. Teresa
Jan 11, 2009 U. Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the best literature I have read in the last year. Wideman's characters are fully realized, his plot captivating, and the language mesmerizing. This is no simple love story between a man and woman; it is about love in all its venues. I think Wideman really brings you into the lives of the main characters and makes you feel the pain and joy of each. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a classic African American blues novel.
Kalem Wright
Mar 06, 2013 Kalem Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oppressive bleak like Pennsylvania skies, "Two Cities" explores the soul-crushing experience of racism and hopelessness in urban Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Wideman' language is absolutely lyrical if impenetrable at times. The narrative is masterfully fragmented and layered with multiple voices in a way that unites the characters' experiences and, at best, conveys hope in the survival blacks have demonstrated. It's like resilience in a novel.
Dec 16, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
* Understanding Oppression: African American Rights (Then and Now)

Two Cities: A Love Story by John Edgar Wideman | Narrated in the bluesy voices of its three main characters, Two Citiesis a simple love story, but it is also about the survival of an endangered black urban community and the ways that people discover for redeeming themselves in a society that is failing them. #love #truth #hope
Kate Hill
Mar 23, 2008 Kate Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book makes your heart race like you're having a panic attack. Holy jazzy cadence! and what a tender love and fear he shows for Philly and Pittsburgh.
Iya Lene
Apr 17, 2013 Iya Lene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Blew me away.
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A widely-celebrated writer and the winner of many literary awards, he is the first to win the International PEN/Faulkner Award twice: in 1984 for Sent for You Yesterday and in 1990 for Philadelphia Fire. In 2000 he won the O. Henry Award for his short story "Weight", published in The Callaloo Journal.

In March, 2010, he self-published "Briefs," a new collection of microstories, on Stories
More about John Edgar Wideman...

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