Paule Marshall’s haunting novel about the Brooklyn family of a black jazz musician who left home to find fame in Paris, The Fisher King, sneaks up on you like a deceptively simple tune that’s impossible to forget. It’s actually a complicated story of ambition, disappointment, love, and betrayal — one that moves easily back and forth in time, and all the more astonishing for being seen through the eyes of an 8-year-old Parisian boy, the grandson and namesake of pianist Sonny-Rett Payne.
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