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Ishmael Reed Gets the Last Laugh

His brilliantly idiosyncratic fiction has travestied everyone from Moses to Lin-Manuel Miranda, and laid a foundation for the freewheeling genre experiments of writers such as Paul Beatty, Victor LaValle, and Colson Whitehead. Yet there’s always been more to Reed than subversion and caricature. Laughter, in his books, unearths legacies suppressed by prejudice, élitism, and mass-media coöptation. Read more

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