Canongate acquires story collection from John Edgar Wideman

Canongate acquires story collection from John Edgar Wideman

Canongate is to publish a set of stories from US writer John Edgar Wideman, 40 years after the author released his first collection. 

Publishing director Francis Bickmore acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Look For Me and I’ll Be Gone from Tracy Bohan at The Wylie Agency. In the US, the collection has been acquired by Scribner. Canongate will publish in hardback in November 2021, simultaneously with Scribner.

Look For Me and I’ll Be Gone explores subjects including distrust of authority, everyday grief and childhood memories, and the final day in a prison cell.

Canongate published Wideman’s previous collection, American Histories, in 2018, alongside his earlier works Brothers and Keepers, Philadelphia Fire and Writing to Save a Life, which joined its Canons list of modern classics.

Commenting on the acquisition, Bickmore said: "We’re excited to be bringing a new John Edgar Wideman book to the world this November. For 40 years John has been pushing the boundaries of storytelling, defying genre and weaving pop culture, social justice and the possibilities of jazz and hip hop into written form. The rage about injustice and distrust of authority is as sharp as ever in this new collection, and it is required reading for anyone interested in the state of America today."

Wideman won the PEN/Faulkner Award twice, won the Prix Femina Étranger, and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award. He is a MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.