Unknown legend

Carrie Stetler at the Star-Ledger does an outstanding job of bringing to light the work of John A. Williams, whose novels should have earned him a place alongside Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright in the pantheon of African-American writers. Instead, he’s living in obscurity in Teaneck, N.J., with a severely ill wife and the prospect of Alzheimer’s disease whittling away at his mind. It’s an exceptionally thorough story, with descriptions of key novels such as The Man Who Cried I Am and Clifford’s Blues, and praise from the likes of Ishmael Reed. It’s a sad story, but also an illuminating one, and it may just inspire you to do the one best thing anyone can do for a writer — read him, and remember him.

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