Dreamer: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, May 11, 2010 - Fiction - 240 pages
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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.

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User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Despite Leland Gantt and Andre Braugher's capable reading of this novel, there is simply not enough of the dreamer himself to make Dreamer a compelling tribute. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and times ... Read full review

Dreamer: a novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Johnson, who won the 1990 National Book Award for Middle Passage (LJ 5/1/90), his novel set aboard a 19th-century slave ship, has constructed a new historical fiction whose narrator, Chaym Smith, is a dead ringer for the great Civil Rights leader. (LJ 4/1/98). Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Charles Johnson is a novelist, essayist, literary scholar, philosopher, cartoonist, screenwriter, and professor emeritus at the University of Washington in Seattle. His fiction includes Dr. King’s Refrigerator, Dreamer, Faith and the Good Thing, and Middle Passage, for which he won the National Book Award. In 2002 he received the Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Seattle.

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