Conversations with Ishmael Reed
As a fiercely independent thinker, Ishmael Reed, author of Mumbo Jumbo, Flight to Canada, Reckless Eyeballing, and other works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, is often in conflict with the culture that appears to have a compulsive need to cage its artists and intellectuals in worn-out cliches and labels. As a writer who experiments in many forms and genres, and one who embraces postmodernism rather than protest and naturalism, Reed defies popular conceptions of what American writers, particularly black American male writers, should be or do.
In this collection of candid interviews, Reed discusses how critics, especially from the northeastern establishment have consistently marginalized African American writers by placing them in the "either-or thing of Christianity and Communism. " As he does in his writing, Reed uses invective, satire, and humor to show how those people judging American literature "have made no attempt to understand recent American writing. "
Bruce Dick is a professor English and African American studies at Appalachian State University. Amritjit Singh is a professor of English at Rhode Island College and co-editor of Postcolonial Theory and the United States, published by University Press of Mississippi in 2000.