Dreamer by Charles Johnson (Paperback ISBN 9780862419264) book cover

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Set against the racial turbulence of the Civil Rights Era, Dreamer is the first work of fiction to explore the life of Martin Luther King Jr - political visionary, human rights activist, preacher, scholar and martyr.

Johnson’s brilliantly realised historical novel deftly handles its material, weaving together a subtle and beautiful novel of immense power and importance. Dreamer is a multi-layered masterpiece.


“I am humbled by Dreamer and grateful for it. It is a transcendent, brilliant book”
David Guterson

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“What unites Dreamer’s diverse concerns - biography, politics, sociology, ethics - is its passionate desire to celebrate black history and to vindicate King - it is powerful as a moral tribute”
the Sunday Times

“Like a skiff exploring history’s more hidden currents, Johnson’s poetic language drifts with care over the moiling currents of King’s intellect, leaving in its wake a wonderful, prismatic novel, exhorting and testifying, but never preaching”
the Guardian

“His fiction transcends the immediate concerns of race and colour, and will find its place in the great body of literature produced by America’s humanitarian tradition”
literary Review


Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson won the US National Book Award in 1990 for his novel Middle Passage. A widely published literary critic, philosopher, cartoonist, screen-writer, essayist and lecturer, he is one of twelve African-American authors honoured in an international series of stamps celebrating great writers of the twentieth century. In 1998 he received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and in 2003 literary scholars founded the Charles Johnson Society at the American Literature Association. He is currently the Pollock Professor of English at the University of Washington.