Ishmael Reed  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Ishmael Scott Reed (February 22, 1938) is an American poet, essayist and novelist. Reed is one of the best-known African-American writers of his generation, and along with Amiri Baraka is one of the most controversial (and politically left-wing). His work consistently satirizes the American right-wing (and often the left as well), highlighting domestic political and cultural oppression. While some have found Reed's work a vivid, comic depiction of America, others have criticized it as incoherent or muddled. Another group of public intellectuals has argued that some of Reed's work is misogynistic because of his criticism of the movie version of "The Color Purple," which the novel's author, Alice Walker, also criticized. While he is among a number of black male authors who are criticized as "misogynist" by mostly white feminists, Reed can point to a number of black feminists who defend him, including many whose work he has published.

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