Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed is an American poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright known for his satirical works challenging American political culture and highlighting issues of race and class. Among his most notable works are the novels 'Mumbo Jumbo' and 'The Last Days of Louisiana Red.' Reed's style is often characterized by its humor, irony, and incorporation of various media into his writing. He has also been involved in publishing and has played a significant role in promoting multiculturalism in literature.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Mumbo Jumbo

    "Mumbo Jumbo" is a satirical and unconventional novel that explores the cultural and political landscape of 1920s America. The narrative centers around an ancient virus known as "Jes Grew" which is spreading rapidly, causing people to dance, feel joy and lose their inhibitions. The protagonist, an African-American detective, is tasked with finding the text that supposedly contains the cure for this "disease". The book uses this premise to critique Western civilization and its attempts to suppress African and other non-European cultures.

  2. 2. Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down

    This novel is a satirical, postmodern romp through the American West, blending elements of African-American folklore, pop culture, and metafiction. The protagonist, a black cowboy named Loop Garoo Kid, is on a quest to overthrow the corrupt, white-owned power structures of Yellow Back Radio, a fictional town. The narrative is characterized by its anarchic humor, allegorical critique of American society, and its inventive, genre-bending style, mixing western, science fiction, and magical realism.