The lost giant of American literature' New YorkerIn 1962, aged just 24,
William Melvin Kelley's debut novel A Different Drummer earned him
critical comparisons to James Baldwin and William Faulkner. Fifty-five
years later, author and journalist Kathryn Schulz happened upon the
novel serendipitously and was inspired to write the New Yorker article
'The Lost Giant of American Literature', included as a foreword to this
edition. June, 1957.
One afternoon, in the backwater town of Sutton, a young black farmer by the name of Tucker Caliban matter-of-factly throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and livestock, sets fire to his house and departs the southern state. And thereafter, the entire African-American population leave with him. The reaction that follows is told across a dozen chapters, each from the perspective of a different white townsperson.
These are boys, girls, men and women; either liberal or conservative, bigoted or sympathetic - yet all of whom are grappling with this spontaneous, collective rejection of subordination. A lost masterpiece republished for 2018, A Different Drummer is for readers who have been waiting for the next rediscovered classic.
A Different Drummer - William Melvin Kelley
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