Publication Date: April 10, 2001
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A neglected tour de force by the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature, Kingsblood Royal is a stirring and wickedly funny portrait of a man who resigns from the white race. When Neil Kingsblood a typical middle-American banker with a comfortable life makes the shocking discovery that he has African-American blood, the odyssey that ensues creates an unforgettable portrayal of two Americas, one black, one white.
As timely as when it was first published in 1947, one need only open today's newspaper to see the same issues passionately being discussed between blacks and whites that we find in Kingsblood Royal, says Charles Johnson. Perhaps only now can we fully appreciate Sinclair Lewis's astonishing achievement.
Charles Johnson's many books include Middle Passage, which won the 1990 National Book Award. He lives in Seattle.
"There is more significant terror of a kind in Lewis's novels than in a writer like Faulkner... it is the terror imminent in the commonplace."