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"Hoop Roots"

It's not easy to consider "Hoop Roots" briefly. John Edgar Wideman's new book is challenging to read, let alone discuss in writing.

Mr. Wideman writes fiercely, energetically, idiosyncratically, as if he's decided that this one's for him and if you can't keep up, you'd better find another, lesser court on which to play.

He says at the outset that he's writing "Hoop Roots," ("No book") for fun, but part of the fun is unleashing anecdotes, confessions, recollections, celebrations and social commentary without clear boundary lines between them. "Writing," he warns early, is a "way of holding on. Letting go."

Sometimes for the next two hundred and forty pages it's damn the punctuation, grab hold of those contradictory elements of a single truth, make what you can of the ride.

This program aired on October 20, 2002. The audio for this program is not available.

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.

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