10 – Style


Ishmael Reed (b. 1938), author

Doubleday (est. 1897), publisher

Reed’s third novel, Mumbo Jumbo, was a contender for the 1973 National Book Award in fiction at the same time his Conjure was nominated for poetry. Written in an aesthetic that Reed called Neo-HooDoism, Mumbo Jumbo presented extraordinary challenges to his editors and printers, as well as to the reader. The setting copy Reed returned in 1971 was accompanied by a special “style sheet” prepared for the printers, correspondence with correction notes, and explanations from Reed to his editor.

All items from the Ishmael Reed papers

  1. Mumbo Jumbo. Early typescript and carbon typescript drafts, with the author’s autograph corrections, undated
    1. Heavily-corrected typescript sent to the printer as the setting copy [1971]
    1. “Dear Compositors,” Ishmael Reed letters to the compositors and “Joan,” September 24 and December 26, 1971
  2. Mumbo Jumbo. This paste-up of text and illustrations on bluelines was produced to give the author and publisher a sense of the layout for the book. This stage was particularly important for Mumbo Jumbo since Reed has incorporated unique spelling and typography
  3. Mumbo Jumbo. This proof is stamped “Final Galley” and contains numerous autograph corrections, emendations and copy edits in several different hands
  4. Mumbo Jumbo. First edition. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 1972
  5. News clippings of publicity and reviews, 1970-1987