Dreamer by Charles Johnson
A Novel

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Set against the tensions of Civil Rights era America, Dreamer is a remarkable fictional excursion into the last two years of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, when the political and personal pressures on this country's most preeminent moral leader were the greatest. While in Chicago for his first northern campaign against poverty and inequality, King encounters Chaym Smith, whose startling physical resemblance to King wins him the job of official stand-in. Matthew Bishop, a civil rights worker and loyal follower of King, is given the task of training the smart and deeply cynical Smith for the job. In doing so, Bishop must face the issue of what makes one man great while another man can only stand in for greatness. Provocative, heartfelt, and masterfully rendered, Charles Johnson confirms yet again that he is one of the great treasures of modern American literature.

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 May 8, 2010 by Scribner. 244 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A novel about Martin Luther King Jr. from the National Book Award-winning Johnson (Middle Passage, 1990, etc.), who continues with his strange combination of high-flown philosophy and down-home folksiness.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Dreamer: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Considering the incandescent power of his personality and the high drama of his later years, it is surprising that Martin Luther King Jr. has not inspired more fiction. It is a gap that Johnson, autho

Mar 30 1998 | Read Full Review of Dreamer: A Novel

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