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Ishmael Reed

Ishmael Reed (b. 1938) is an American poet, essayist and novelist. Reed is one of the best-known African American writers of his generation, and along with Amiri Baraka is one of the most controversial (and politically left-wing). His work consistently satirizes the American right-wing, highlighting domestic political and cultural oppression. While some have found Reed's work a vivid, comic depiction of non-white America, others have criticized it as incoherent or muddled.

Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, grew up in Buffalo, New York (where he attended the University of Buffalo), lived in New York City in the 1960s, and currently lives in Oakland, California, where he teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Reed's best-known works include The Free-Lance Pallbearers (1967, Reed's first novel), Mumbo Jumbo (1972), Flight to Canada (1976), and The Last Days of Louisiana Red (1974). He has published more than a dozen books, including seven novels, four collections of poetry, and two collections of essays.

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