An updated edition of the radiant, posthumous second novel by the visionary author of Invisible Man, featuring new material by Ralph Ellison’s literary executor, John F. Callahan, and a revised introduction by National Book Award-winning author Charles Johnson.
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 itinerant 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?
With new material by John F. Callahan, who first compiled Juneteenth out of thousands of manuscript pages in 1999, and an updated introduction by National Book Award-winning author Charles R. Johnson, this brilliantly crafted, moving, and wise novel is the work of an American master.