Fisher, Rudolph. The Conjure Man Dies. New York. 1932. Covici-Friede. 316 pages. hardcover. 


conjure man dies covici friede 1932FROM THE PUBLISHER -


Originally published in 1932, this book is the first known mystery novel written by an African-American. Rudolph Fisher, one of the principal writers of the Harlem Renaissance, becomes a ‘conjure-man’, a fortune teller, a mysterious figure who remains shrouded in darkness while his clients sit directly across from him, singly bathed in light. It is in this configuration that one of these seekers of the revelation of fate discovers he is speaking to a dead man.



Fisher Rudolph Rudolph Fisher (May 9, 1897 - December 26, 1934) was an African-American writer. His first published work, ‘City of Refuge’, appeared in the Atlantic Monthly Press of February 1925. He went on in 1932 to write The Conjure-Man Dies, the first black detective novel. Fisher was also a physician (with a specialty in radiology), dramatist, musician and orator. Fisher was an active participant in the Harlem Renaissance, primarily as a novelist, but also as a musician. Born in Washington, DC in the late nineteenth century, Fisher grew up in Providence, Rhode Island graduating from Classical High School and attending Brown University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Brown in 1919 and received a Master of Arts a year later. He went on to attend Howard University Medical School and graduated in 1924. Fisher married Jane Ryder in 1925, and they had one son, Hugh, who was born in 1926. Fisher died in 1934 at the age of 37.







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