The minister primarily A novel

John Oliver Killens, 1916-1987

Book - 2021

"A major literary event-the eagerly anticipated publication of a long-lost novel from legendary writer and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee John Oliver Killens, hailed as the founding father of the Black Arts Movement and mentor to celebrated writers, including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Arthur Flowers, and Terry McMillan. Wanderlust has taken Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson on numerous adventures, from Mississippi to Washington D.C., Vietnam, London and eventually to Africa, to the fictitiou...s Independent People's Democratic Republic of Guanaya, where the young musician hopes to "find himself." But this small sliver of a country in West Africa, recently freed from British colonial rule, is thrown into turmoil with the discovery of cobanium-a radioactive mineral 500 times more powerful than uranium, making it irresistible for greedy speculators, grifters, and charlatans. Overnight, outsiders descend upon the sleepy capital city looking for "a piece of the action." When a plot to assassinate Guanaya's leader is discovered, Jimmy Jay-a dead ringer for the Prime Minister-is enlisted in a counter scheme to foil the would-be coup. He will travel to America with half of Guanaya's cabinet ministers to meet with President Ronald Reagan and address the UN General Assembly, while the rest of the cabinet will remain in Guanaya with the real Prime Minister. What could go wrong? Everything"--

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Subjects
Genres
Satire
Political fiction
Historical fiction
Published
New York, NY : Amistad 35, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xxv, 464 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9780063079595
0063079593
Main Author
John Oliver Killens, 1916-1987 (author)
Other Authors
Ishmael Reed, 1938- (writer of foreword)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* When charismatic, Mississippi-born drifter Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson lands in the Independent People's Democratic Republic of Guanaya, a fictional African country at a political and economic crossroads, he hopes to at last find a deep connection to his heritage and a place he can call home. Instead, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the beleaguered prime minister, he's selected by a group of motley cabinet members to travel as the prime minister's double on a trip to America. Razor-sharp dialogue, absurdist situations, caricatures of politicians, activists, and celebrities all comprise Killens' epigrammatic send-up of twentieth-century politics and the illogical societal realities that stem from racism and global affairs of state. Though bitingly witty and full of laugh-out-loud humor, this novel remains true to what legendary satirist Ishmael Reed describes in his foreword as Killens' mission, "adumbrating the racist evil that dogs the American soul." Vividly and skillfully written, this vibrant, long-missing novel, published 34 years after the death of this Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, civil rights activist, and key figure in the Black Arts Movement, is certain to be a timeless classic of satirical fiction. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

This long-lost novel by a founding father of the Black Arts Movement takes us to the 1980s, as Mississippi musician Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson travels the world, finally arriving in the fictitious Independent People's Democratic Republic of Guanaya in Africa. There, he's asked to stand in for the lookalike prime minister when a coup threatens after the discovery of a valuable radioactive element. With a 30,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Killens (1916–1987), a member of the Black Arts movement and author of And Then We Heard the Thunder, cleverly satirizes 1960s American politics in this sharp thriller. Jaja Okwu Olivamaki, prime minister of the Independent People's Democratic Republic of Guanaya, sees his country lifted from obscurity after a great quantity of the radioactive metallic element cobanium is found there, making it the newest front in the Cold War. African-American musician James Jay Leander Johnson travels to Guanaya to learn "the folk songs of his people," only to become a suspect in a plot to murder Olivamaki. Johnson's life takes an even stranger detour after his resemblance to his supposed target leads to his being asked to impersonate the nation's leader, a pretense he must maintain on a state visit to the U.S. Killens is pointed in his barbs; when the imposter is asked his opinion of Malcolm X, he declares he believes in the same kind of nonviolence the U.S. does: "I believe we should keep everybody nonviolent, even if we have to blow them off the face of the earth, in the American tradition." Throughout, Killens maximizes the potential of his plot with outrageous humor. Readers will be glad to find this gem unearthed. (July) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A dead ringer for Republic of Guanaya’s Prime Minister, Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson is enlisted to stop an assassination plot, which takes him 1980s America where things go spectacularly – and hilariously — wrong. 30,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A major literary event-the eagerly anticipated publication of a long-lost novel from legendary writer and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee John Oliver Killens, hailed as the founding father of the Black Arts Movement and mentor to celebrated writers, including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Arthur Flowers, and Terry McMillan. Wanderlust has taken Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson on numerous adventures, from Mississippi to Washington D.C., Vietnam, London and eventually to Africa, to the fictitious Independent People's Democratic Republic of Guanaya, where the young musician hopes to "find himself." But this small sliver of a country in West Africa, recently freed from British colonial rule, is thrown into turmoil with the discovery of cobanium-a radioactive mineral 500 times more powerful than uranium, making it irresistible for greedy speculators, grifters, and charlatans. Overnight, outsiders descend upon the sleepy capital city looking for "a piece of the action." When a plot to assassinate Guanaya's leaderis discovered, Jimmy Jay-a dead ringer for the Prime Minister-is enlisted in a counter scheme to foil the would-be coup. He will travel to America with half of Guanaya's cabinet ministers to meet with President Ronald Reagan and address the UN General Assembly, while the rest of the cabinet will remain in Guanaya with the real Prime Minister. What could go wrong? Everything"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A major literary event—the eagerly anticipated publication of a long-lost novel from legendary writer and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee John Oliver Killens, hailed as the founding father of the Black Arts Movement and mentor to celebrated writers, including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Arthur Flowers, and Terry McMillan.Wanderlust has taken Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson on numerous adventures, from Mississippi to Washington D.C., Vietnam, London and eventually to Africa, to the fictitious Independent People’s Democratic Republic of Guanaya, where the young musician hopes to “find himself.”But this small sliver of a country in West Africa, recently freed from British colonial rule, is thrown into turmoil with the discovery of cobanium—a radioactive mineral 500 times more powerful than uranium, making it irresistible for greedy speculators, grifters, and charlatans. Overnight, outsiders descend upon the sleepy capital city looking for “a piece of the action.”When a plot to assassinate Guanaya’s leader is discovered, Jimmy Jay—a dead ringer for the Prime Minister—is enlisted in a counter scheme to foil the would-be coup. He will travel to America with half of Guanaya’s cabinet ministers to meet with the President of the United States and address the UN General Assembly, while the rest of the cabinet will remain in Guanaya with the real Prime Minister.What could go wrong? Everything.Set in the 1980s, this smart, funny, dazzlingly brilliant novel is a literary delight—and the final gift from an American literary legend.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A major literary event'the eagerly anticipated publication of a long-lost novel from legendary writer and three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee John Oliver Killens, hailed as the founding father of the Black Arts Movement and mentor to celebrated writers, including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Arthur Flowers, and Terry McMillan.Wanderlust has taken Jimmy Jay Leander Johnson on numerous adventures, from Mississippi to Washington D.C., Vietnam, London and eventually to Africa, to the fictitious Independent People's Democratic Republic of Guanaya, where the young musician hopes to 'find himself."But this small sliver of a country in West Africa, recently freed from British colonial rule, is thrown into turmoil with the discovery of cobanium'a radioactive mineral 500 times more powerful than uranium, making it irresistible for greedy speculators, grifters, and charlatans. Overnight, outsiders descend upon the sleepy capital city looking for 'a piece of the action."When a plot to assassinate Guanaya's leader is discovered, Jimmy Jay'a dead ringer for the Prime Minister'is enlisted in a counter scheme to foil the would-be coup. He will travel to America with half of Guanaya's cabinet ministers to meet with the President of the United States and address the UN General Assembly, while the rest of the cabinet will remain in Guanaya with the real Prime Minister.What could go wrong? Everything.Set in the 1980s, this smart, funny, dazzlingly brilliant novel is a literary delight'and the final gift from an American literary legend.