Flight to Canada by Ishmael Reed
Brilliantly portrayed by a novelist with “a talent for hyperbole and downright yarning unequaled since Mark Twain”, (Saturday Review), this slave’s-eye view of the Civil War exposes America’s racial foibles of the past and present with uninhibited humor and panache.
Mixing history, fantasy, political reality, and comedy, Ishmael Reed spins the tale of three runaway slaves and the master determined to catch them. His on-target parody of fugitive slave narratives and other literary forms includes a hero who boards a jet bound for Canada; Abraham Lincoln waltzing through slave quarters to the tune of “Hello, Dolly”; and a plantation mistress entranced by TV’s “Beecher Hour”. Filled with insights into the political consciences (or lack thereof) of both blacks and whites, Flight to Canada confirms Reed’s status as “a great writer” (James Baldwin). [book link]