Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Does Ishmael Reed’s poetry deal with the same themes as his fiction? Are the styles of the two genres similar?

How is the concept of neo-HooDoo central to Reed’s fiction?

How is Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down a parody of the Western genre? How is it a satire of the Vietnam War era?

How effective is Reed’s manipulation of time in Flight to Canada in supporting his themes?

Compare Flight to Canada to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). How is Reed commenting on Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel?

How valid are feminist attacks on Reed for his portrayal of women?

How do the attacks on racism in Reed’s novels differ from those by other African American writers?