John Edgar Wideman grew up in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, where some of his novels and stories take place. A former Rhodes scholar, his work has been widely praised for its vivid and lyrical language, and his reviews and critical articles have appeared in a number of publications. He served as the senior judge for the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in 1992.
The Drue Heinz Literature Prize was established in 1980 to encourage and support the writing and reading of short fiction. Over the past twenty years judges such as Robert Penn Warren, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Russell Banks, Alice McDermott, and Frank Conroy have selected the best collections from the hundreds submitted annually by up-and-coming writers.
20 represents the best of the best—one story from each of the prize-winning volumes. Chosen by acclaimed author John Edgar Wideman, the selections cover a broad range of inventive and original characters, settings, and emotions, charting the evolution of the short story over the past two decades. One of the most prestigious awards of its kind, the Drue Heinz Literature Prize has helped launch the careers of a score of previously “undiscovered” writers, many of whom have gone on to great critical success.
Past Winners of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize: David Bosworth, Robley Wilson, Jonathan Penner, Randall Silvis, W. D. Wetherell, Rick DeMarinis, Ellen Hunnicutt, Reginald McKnight, Maya Sonenberg, Rick Hillis, Elizabeth Graver, Jane McCafferty, Stewart O’Nan, Jennifer Cornell, Geoffrey Becker, Edith Pearlman, Katherine Vaz, Barbara Croft, Lucy Honig, Adria Bernardi.