Tomorrow, 11/15, is Publication Day for “A Different Drummer” in the Netherlands. The beautiful cover art is from Romare Bearden’s “Southern Recollections”series.
We keep saying we are “overjoyed,” “overwhelmed,” “grateful” for the attention WMK is receiving, but these words are truly inadequate.
“An entire class of literature students could write their master’s theses on A Different Drummer. It is a multi-faceted book: grim fairy tale, a social and even activist novel, and last but not least, an ingenious narrative thanks to the multiple shifts in time and perspective. The read thread through all of this is the inevitable reason for the mass exodus of the black population. Read A Different Drummer and you’ll understand all too clearly why Tucker Caliban and his brothers and sisters had no choice but to leave.”
If you can read Dutch, go ahead and visit here.
TODAY, fifty six years after it’s original publication in 1962, and on what would have been his 81st Birthday, A Different Drummer is being republished by riverrun, an imprint of Quercus Books in the United Kingdom. The edition features a forward by Pulitzer Prize winner Kathryn Schulz.
Kelley is being hailed as “The Godfather of Woke” and “The Lost Giant of American Literature.”
And to us, his family, this is all surreal.
When we started this magazine in 2014 as a family, we had every intention of updating it regularly with all of our work and short pieces by Kelley. In hindsight, Kelley’s health was beginning to decline and between various hospital stays, his teaching job at Sarah Lawrence College and 3x weekly dialysis, his plate was pretty full. So the magazine lapsed.
Kelley passed away on February 1, 2017. The following year, almost to the day, The New Yorker published an essay by Kathryn Shulz, titling it “The Lost Giant of American Literature.”
It has been an absolute wildwind ever since… culminating in today.
In the weeks coming the family will solidify and update this site, adding more information about Kelley himself, as well as continuing to contribute the work we do. But in the meantime, poke around.
Happy Birthday, WMK!