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A neglected tour de force by the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature, Kingsblood Royal is a stirring and wickedly funny portrait of a man who resigns from the white race. When Neil Kingsblood a typical middle-American banker with a comfortable life makes the shocking discovery that he has African-American blood, the odyssey that ensues creates an unforgettable portrayal of two Americas, one black, one white.
Though popular at the time of publication, it was quickly expunged from the American literary canon and has been out of print since. As timely as when first published in 1947, “one need only open today’s newspaper to see the same issues passionately being discussed between blacks and whites that we find in Kingsblood Royal,” writes Charles Johnson in his introduction. Perhaps only now can we fully appreciate Sinclair Lewis’s astonishing achievement.
Kingsblood Royal is available only from Modern Library.