Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Ralph Ellison


Published after Ellison’s death, this follow-up to Invisible Man is a thunderous epic of memory, faith, loss and identity. “Words are your business, boy. Not just the Word.¬†Words are everything.”

“Tell me what happened while there’s still time,” demands the dying Senator Adam Sunraider to the itinerate black baptist minister he calls Daddy Hickman. As a young orphan, Sunraider was taken in and raised by Hickman, before reinventing himself as a racist politician. Now, as the two men confront the truth about their shared past in a final reckoning, Ellison’s masterly novel takes in memories of a southern childhood, the rhythms of jazz and gospel and the richness of the African-American experience.

Paperback, 336pp
Penguin, 2016 (1999)
ISBN 9780241215005