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Juneteenth: A Novel | [Ralph Ellison]

Juneteenth: A Novel

"Tell me what happened while there's still time," demands the dying Senator Adam Sunraider to the itinerate Negro preacher whom he calls Daddy Hickman. As a young man, Sunraider was Bliss, an orphan taken in by Hickman and raised to be a preacher like himself. Bliss's history encompasses the joys of young southern boyhood; bucolic days as a filmmaker, lovemaking in a field in the Oklahoma sun. And behind it all lies a mystery: how did this chosen child become the man who would deny everything to achieve his goals?
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Publisher's Summary

From Ralph Ellison - author of the classic novel of African-American experience, Invisible Man - the long-awaited second novel. Here is the master of American vernacular - the rhythms of jazz and gospel and ordinary speech - at the height of his powers, telling a powerful, evocative tale of a prodigal of the twentieth century.

"Tell me what happened while there's still time," demands the dying Senator Adam Sunraider to the itinerate Negro preacher whom he calls Daddy Hickman. As a young man, Sunraider was Bliss, an orphan taken in by Hickman and raised to be a preacher like himself. Bliss's history encompasses the joys of young southern boyhood; bucolic days as a filmmaker, lovemaking in a field in the Oklahoma sun. And behind it all lies a mystery: how did this chosen child become the man who would deny everything to achieve his goals? Brilliantly crafted, moving, wise, Juneteenth is the work of an American master.

©2011 Ralph Ellison (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"[A] vastly ambitious informing allegory, an allegory made rich, as in Invisible man, with the sensory details of which Ellison was such a master." (The New York Review of Books)

"[A]n extraordinary book, a work of staggering virtuosity. With its publication, a giant world of literature has just grown twice as tall." (Newsday)

"[A] stunning achievement.... Juneteenth is a tour de force of untutored eloquence. Ellison sought no less than to create a Book of Blackness, a literary composition of the tradition at its most sublime and fundamental." (Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Time)

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    "Moreton's Brilliant Performance of Juneteenth"
    Where does Juneteenth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best books and certainly one of the best narrators I've enjoyed in a decade of Audible experiences.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rev. A.Z. Hickman is a total, compelling protagonist, clear-eyed and poetic.


    What does Joe Morton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think Joe Morton should be performing this book on stage. He paints this book with his voice, and listening to him is definitely a richer experience than reading the book in print.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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