Library Ed. Recorded Books 2006
CS ISBN 978-1-4193-7568-2 $49.75 Five cassettes
CD ISBN $69.75 Six CDs
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 © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 07]
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