Dr. King's Refrigerator by Charles Johnson
And Other Bedtime Stories

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Charles Johnson's innovative and richly imagined collection is full of stories -- sly, witty, and insightful -- that bring the world into focus. Each is a vivid cultural and philosophical portrait that deftly explores issues of identity and race. "Kwoon" follows the spiritual journey of a martial arts teacher on Chicago's South Side. "Sweet Dreams" is a Kafkaesque tale set in a world where dreams are taxed and a man and his dreamlife are being audited. "The Gift of the Osuo" is a fable about the dangers of getting what you wish for. In "Cultural Relativity," a young woman falls in love with the son of the president of an African nation but is forbidden to ever kiss him. The title story is an illuminating and deeply human tale about pre-Montgomery Martin Luther King Jr. and a revelation he had when he looked into his refrigerator late one night.
Provocative, engaging, and compassionate, Dr. King's Refrigerator is a superb and important collection from a major American voice.

About Charles Johnson

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Dr. Charles Johnson, a 1998 MacArthur fellow, is the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Endowed Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. His fiction includes Dr. King's Refrigerator, Dreamer, and Middle Passage, for which he won the National Book Award. In 2002 he received the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Seattle.
Published November 1, 2007 by Scribner. 148 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dr. King's Refrigerator

Kirkus Reviews

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Far better is “The Queen and the Philosopher,” a witty tale of the 17th-century philosopher Descartes’ debilitating service to Sweden’s Queen Christina, who has summoned him “to serve as her personal tutor in philosophy and mathematics.” It’s inventive, breezy, and not—as Johnson’s fiction freque...

Feb 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Dr. King's Refrigerator: And ...

The New York Times

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In adopting this style, Johnson employs the pre-Chekhovian notion of the short story as merely a tale for adults -- the short story as a sort of amuse-bouche.

Mar 06 2005 | Read Full Review of Dr. King's Refrigerator: And ...

BC Books

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The rudiments of imagination that come from the stories are enough to make most of them publishable, but given that Johnson has shown all the tools and potential to write the Great American Novel, the failure almost leaves the reader, and especially the avid Johnson reader, breathless.

Nov 04 2005 | Read Full Review of Dr. King's Refrigerator: And ...

Bookmarks Magazine

In the title story, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Dr. King's Refrigerator: And ...

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