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Conjugating Hindi


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About the Author

Ishmael Reed is the author of over twenty-five books including Mumbo Jumbo, The Last Days of Louisiana Red, Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down and Juice!. He is also a publisher, television producer, songwriter, radio and television commentator, lecturer, and has long been devoted to exploring an alternative black aesthetic: the trickster tradition, or Neo-Hoodooism as he calls it. Founder of the Before Columbus Foundation, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley for over thirty years, retiring in 2005. In 2003, he received the coveted Otto Award for political theater.


"One of the most inventive and prolific of contemporary American writers . . . Reed's prose style resembles the youthful Ali's ring style. It is unorthodox, brash, yet controlled." * New York Times *
"The novel [Conjugating Hindi] is what some academics have dubbed a trickster text, a text informed by the mischievous, shape-shifting, slippery figure of the trickster, found in folklore throughout the world. Implicit in Reed's formal style, as well as his content, is the trickster disregard for caste of any kind. Heedless of boundaries and resistant to being pinned down or hemmed in, the novel is driven almost entirely by Reed's deep, free-wheeling curiosity about why things are the way they are in regard to the use of the model minority myth against Black communities....As the United States's ideals come under increasing attack, we need more flame-throwers like septuagenarian Ishmael Reed - more fighters, more tricksters, more eagle-eyed observers with an incendiary spirit, more dazzlingly original artist-writers - willing to defy what is permissible to say, willing to catch it on all sides, and willing to run over boundaries of all kinds into genuinely new or neglected territory." * Anita Felicelli, Los Angeles Review of Books *
"As a top-flight postmodern novelist and feisty cultural critic, Reed consistently challenges our status quo sociopolitical arrangements." * The Dallas Morning News *
"Ishmael Reed makes the language boogaloo." * Rolling Stone *
"The only novelist who is a match for the comic intensity of Richard Pryor." * Chicago Tribune *
"His own groundbreaking literary output over six decades, in multiple languages and every form-essays, fiction, poetry, film, even editorial cartoons-has infected a generation of artists." * The Paris Review *

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