Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Walls of Jericho
Rudolph Fisher


Fisher’s first novel is a classic of the Harlem Renaissance output. When Black lawyer Fred Merrit purchases a house in the most exclusive white neighbourhood bordering Harlem, he has to hire the toughest removal firm in the area to help him get his belongings past the hostile neighbours. The removal men are Jinx Jenkins and Bubber Brown, who make the move anything but straightforward. This hilarious satire of jazz-age Harlem derides the walls people build around themselves – colour and class chief among them. In their reactions to Merrit and to one another, the characters provide an invaluable view of the social and philosophical scene of the times. Langston Hughes called “the wittiest of the Harlem Renaissance writers, whose tongue was flavoured with the sharpest and saltiest humour.”

This edition includes Fisher’s short story ‘One Month’s Wages’, which revisits Jinx and Bubber during the Depression when, down on their luck, one seeks to win money by gambling, the other by taking a job in a mortuary.

Paperback, 224pp
HarperCollins, 2021 (1928)
ISBN 9780008444358