This article is a study of the way in which three African American writers from Pittsburgh transmute a physical place—Homewood or Hill Street areas of Pittsburgh—from a simple physical location to something different. For each of the three writers covered in this article—Wideman, French, and Wilson—the manner in which they take a physical location and make it something beyond a specific geographic fact will be examined. Tim Cresswell has written “place is not just a physical thing in the world but a way of understanding the world. … [P]lace is also a way of seeing, knowing, and understanding the world.” This is the perspective of this study: How do these three author take us beyond mere geography and move us to an understanding of the way the various characters understand the world. Wideman states in his preface to The Homewood Books that he is not interested so much in the physical location but rather “a culture, a way of seeing and being seen.” The three authors approach this topic from different perspectives and have different scopes, but the object remains constant throughout.


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pp. 633-641
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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