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Forgotten Treasures: A Symposium

Editor's Note: With the turn of the millennial odometer now hard upon us, we asked a number of writers to share with us their neglected classics of the century, books they love but which, for one reason or another, have yet to find the readers they so richly deserve.

December 26, 1999|JULIUS LESTER | Julius Lester is the author of 28 books. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he is a professor in the Judaic studies department and adjunct professor in the English and history departments

Two books come to mind: "Mojo Hand" by Jane Phillips is a novel about a light-skinned young black woman who goes in search of an old blues singer whom she knows only through his old records. The only novel I know of by a very talented young black woman writer who preceded the black literary renaissance.

And "Joseph and His Brothers" by Thomas Mann, one of the most stunning literary achievements of this or any century. With his extraordinary command of language and his vision of the place of myth in human lives, Mann's tetralogy still amazes.

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