"He regarded with skepticism and clarity the temptations to make racial identity the foundation of our humanity."
Leon Forrest (1937–1997) was born in Chicago and taught at Northwestern University for more than two decades. His first novel, There Is a Tree More Ancient Than Eden, included an introduction by Ralph Ellison and was edited by Toni Morrison, who also worked with Forrest on two subsequent novels, The Bloodworth Orphans and Two Wings to Veil My Face. Originally published in 1992, Forrest’s masterpiece, Divine Days, was inspired by James Joyce’s Ulysses and hailed as “boldly musical” by the New York Times and “dazzling” by Publishers Weekly. Meteor in the Madhouse, a series of connected novellas narrated by Joubert Jones, was published posthumously by TriQuarterly Books in 2011, and Forrest was inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame in 2013. His papers are held at the McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives at Northwestern University.