Lover Man

$25.00
Stories of loners, outsiders, tricksters, addicts, jazzmen, and drifters in the Jim Crow South—a classic of 1950s Black fiction.

Raw, fearless, ironic, the stories in Lover Man (1958) promised the birth of a new sensibility in American fiction. Inspired by the bebop he loved, and the philosophy he studied at the Sorbonne, Alston Anderson looked back at the North Carolina of his youth to capture the hidden lives of Black boys and men in the early 1940s. Fascinated by loners and outsiders—tricksters, addicts, jazzmen, drifters, “queers”—and by the spiritual cost exacted by the myths of white supremacy, Anderson assembled an original kind of story collection, whose themes troubled and bewildered many of his early readers. Although later championed by Langston Hughes and Henry Louis Gates. Jr., among others, this—his only collection—has remained out of print since the ’50s.

In his afterword to this new edition, the literary historian Kinohi Nishikawa investigates Anderson’s brief but brilliant career, the controversy his work provoked, and the light it sheds on his era.