Man Who Cried I Am

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Many credit Williams's 1967 novel with being the most accurate fictional portrayal of the black American experience. Based on his own life, the story includes disguised versions of James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Richard Wright, among others. This edition includes both a new afterword by Williams and an introduction by Walter Mosley, whose popular Easy Rawlins mysteries cover some of the same ground. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Sacred Fire
Max Reddick, who is a talented "black writer" in America but a literary genius in Europe, is trying to come to terms with his dilemma. Max is tired of having to accept that being black will always be the primary definition of his life-despite his marriage to a white woman, despite his literary talent and aspirations, despite his intellectual and social relations, and despite his "escape" to the European cities of Paris and Amsterdam. At the end of his life, cut short by cancer, Max decides to question all the things that brought him to where he is today.

Reddick faced the familiar problem of spiritual homelessness that has often plagued black artists and intellectuals. "I'm the way I am, the kind of writer I am because I am a black man. I've been in rebellion, and a writer, ever since I discovered that even colored folks wanted to keep me away from books so I could never learn just how bad it all was. Maybe, too, to keep me from laughing at them. For taking it. My folks had a deathly fear of books."

Novelist, poet, and journalist John Alfred Williams has created in Max Reddick an unforgettable character: irascible, fiercely intelligent, irredeemable, and honorable. The Man Who Cried I Am is a stunning chronicle of not only Williams's life but the lives of all black people who have refused to be victims: blacks who have had to leave their country to claim their individuality, intellectual independence, and rightful recognition, and who have always yearned to be "home" but struggled to find such a place.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585675807
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 410
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 7.92 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author


John Tyerman Williams is the author of Pooh and the Millennium and Pooh and the Philosophers. He lives in England.
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