A Different Drummer - William Melvin Kelley

William Melvin Kelley

A Different Drummer
1962, 294 p.

One day in the late nineteen-fifties, a young African-American farmer Tucker Caliban throws salt on his field, shoots his horse and cow and burns his house to the ground. He leaves the fictional town of Sutton, in the south of the US, taking his wife and baby with him. Black inhabitants of Sutton followed suit. When asked where they are going the answer is: North. White people discuss Tuckers possible motive but cannot come to a satisfying conclusion. The story unfolds in eleven chapters told from the perspective of different white people, among them Tuckers employer. The governors statement on the black exodus is: We never needed them, never wanted them, and well get along fine without them. But there is a lot more to the story. Fifty-six years after its first publication a literary jewel is rediscovered.