A multilayered memoir of basketball, family, home, love, and race, John Edgar Wideman’s Hoop Roots brings "a touch of Proust to the blacktop" (Time) as it tells of the author's love for a game he can no longer play. Beginning with the scruffy backlot playground he discovered in Pittsburgh some fifty years ago, Wideman works magical riffs that connect black music, language, culture, and sport. His voice modulates from nostalgic to outraged, from scholarly to streetwise, in describing the game that has sustained his passion throughout his life.
"brilliant tribute to basketball, survival and families. . .as exhilarating as a few fast and furious hours on the court." Publishers Weekly
"A creative, rambling bland of memoir, fiction, and essay." Kirkus Reviews
"Reading Wideman is like listening to John Coltrane. Like 'Trane, Wideman is challenging, furious, confounding, and healing." Boston Globe
"Buried at various depths in Hoop Roots are love letters to basketball, his family, his youth and his race." The San Francisco Chronicle
"...dazzling and confounding for all the usual Wideman reasons. Breathtaking insight. And Missing verbs. Memorable flights of literary fancy." The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Playground anecdotes are expertly told, from no-look, alley-oop passes to standing on the court, hearing the teaching voices of the players.." The Denver Post
"An unconventional memoir, Hoop Roots is at times evocative and provocative, bristling with intensely personal revelations." The Baltimore Sun —