Caryl Phillips has received international acclaim for his works, including the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, and membership in the Royal Society of Literature. Dancing in the Dark brilliantly re-creates the life of Bert Williams, the first black entertainer to achieve stardom in America. In 1896, when Bert decides to perform his stage routine in blackface, he is accused of reviling his race even as he becomes a star in Ziegfeld's Follies.
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by Caryl Phillips
by John Edgar Wideman
by Dave Eggers
by Dinaw Mengestu
by Pete Dexter
by Preston L. Allen
by Arthur Phillips
"Bert Williams, a West Indian immigrant, was a dancer, singer, and comic at the turn of the twentieth century. After a shaky and dangerous start in logging camps and backwaters across America, Williams and his partner, George Walker, moved on to play vaudeville, Broadway, and Buckingham Palace. Dion Graham narrates this story of a gifted actor forced by racism to be a clown. Reviled by his own people for creating the caricature of the servile "coon" and receiving accolades from the white community when pandering to the stereotype, Williams was filled with self-loathing, which Graham illuminates with restraint and intelligence. Phillips uses interior monologues and dreams, actual letters, and newspaper and celebrity quotes to frame the story, and Graham's rich, warm baritone offers an achingly real portrait of a man divided within himself. S.J.H. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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