Writing to Save a Life by John Edgar Wideman audiobook

Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File

By John Edgar Wideman
Read by Roger Guenveur Smith

7.49 Hours 11/15/2016 Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781508230564

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An award-winning writer traces the life of the father of iconic Civil Rights martyr Emmett Till—a man who was executed by the Army ten years before Emmett’s murder. An evocative and personal exploration of individual and collective memory in America by one of the most formidable Black intellectuals of our time.In 1955, Emmett Till, aged fourteen, traveled from his home in Chicago to visit family in Mississippi. Several weeks later he returned, dead; allegedly he whistled at a white woman. His mother, Mamie, wanted the world to see what had been done to her son. She chose to leave his casket open. Images of her brutalized boy were published widely. While Emmett’s story is known, there’s a dark side note that’s rarely mentioned. Ten years earlier, Emmett’s father was executed by the Army for rape and murder. In Writing to Save a Life, John Edgar Wideman searches for Louis Till, a silent victim of American injustice. Wideman's personal interaction with the story began when he learned of Emmett’s murder in 1955; Wideman was also fourteen years old. After reading decades later about Louis’s execution, he couldn’t escape the twin tragedies of father and son, and tells their stories together for the first time. Author of the award-winning Brothers and Keepers, Wideman brings extraordinary insight and a haunting intimacy to this devastating story. An amalgam of research, memoir, and imagination, Writing to Save a Life is completely original in its delivery—an engaging and enlightening conversation between generations, the living and the dead, fathers and sons. Wideman turns seventy-five this year, and he brings the force of his substantial intellect and experience to this beautiful, stirring book, his first nonfiction in fifteen years.

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Summary

Summary

An award-winning writer traces the life of the father of iconic Civil Rights martyr Emmett Till—a man who was executed by the Army ten years before Emmett’s murder. An evocative and personal exploration of individual and collective memory in America by one of the most formidable Black intellectuals of our time.

In 1955, Emmett Till, aged fourteen, traveled from his home in Chicago to visit family in Mississippi. Several weeks later he returned, dead; allegedly he whistled at a white woman. His mother, Mamie, wanted the world to see what had been done to her son. She chose to leave his casket open. Images of her brutalized boy were published widely. While Emmett’s story is known, there’s a dark side note that’s rarely mentioned. Ten years earlier, Emmett’s father was executed by the Army for rape and murder.

In Writing to Save a Life, John Edgar Wideman searches for Louis Till, a silent victim of American injustice. Wideman's personal interaction with the story began when he learned of Emmett’s murder in 1955; Wideman was also fourteen years old. After reading decades later about Louis’s execution, he couldn’t escape the twin tragedies of father and son, and tells their stories together for the first time. Author of the award-winning Brothers and Keepers, Wideman brings extraordinary insight and a haunting intimacy to this devastating story.

An amalgam of research, memoir, and imagination, Writing to Save a Life is completely original in its delivery—an engaging and enlightening conversation between generations, the living and the dead, fathers and sons. Wideman turns seventy-five this year, and he brings the force of his substantial intellect and experience to this beautiful, stirring book, his first nonfiction in fifteen years.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[A] tricked-out time machine to a familiar destination: the jagged fault lines of America’s racial divide.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“Masterfully weaves together memory, history, and archival documents with letters and conversations he imagines to capture the cruel irony of the Tills’ fate.” Washington Post
“Brilliant and ultimately ferocious.” Dallas Morning News
“Wideman pens a powerful blend of fact and fiction, riffing on concerns and themes that he has explored for a half century.” Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Song of the Shank
“I was grateful for Wideman’s nimble intellect, his commitment to nuance, and his insistence that we pay attention to the brutalities perpetrated under the guise of justice.” Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
“Narrator Roger Guenveur Smith approaches this work with a dark, ominous tone that matches the mood of the book. His voice drips with disdain and accusation as he reads about the injustice that Louis Till faced and that ultimately led to his death.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: John Edgar Wideman

Author Bio: John Edgar Wideman

John Edgar Wideman is the author of Writing to Save a Life, Philadelphia Fire, Brothers and Keepers, Fatheralong, Hoop Dreams, and Sent for You Yesterday. He is a MacArthur Fellow and has won the PEN/Faulkner Award twice and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and National Book Award.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 7.49
Audience: Adult
Language: English