Different Drummer: the extraordinary rediscovered classic of 2018 – William Melvin Kelley



In stock (can be backordered)

SKU: 9781787478039 Category: Tags: , ,


More than lives up to the hype Observer Set to become a publishing sensation Kirsty Lang, BBC Front Row An astounding achievement Sunday Times The lost giant of American literature New Yorker June, 1957. One afternoon, in the backwater town of Sutton, a young black farmer by the name of Tucker Caliban matter-of-factly throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and livestock, sets fire to his house and departs the southern state. And thereafter, the entire African-American population leave with him. The reaction that follows is told across a dozen chapters, each from the perspective of a different white townsperson. These are boys, girls, men and women; either liberal or conservative, bigoted or sympathetic – yet all of whom are grappling with this spontaneous, collective rejection of subordination. In 1962, aged just 24, William Melvin Kelleys debut novel A Different Drummer earned him critical comparisons to James Baldwin and William Faulkner. Fifty-five years later, author and journalist Kathryn Schulz happened upon the novel serendipitously and was inspired to write the New Yorker article The Lost Giant of American Literature, included as a foreword to this edition.

Additional information

Published Status


Date Published