Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Leon Forrest  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: 1937 in Chicago, Illinois

Died: November 6, 1997 in Evanston, Illinois


-- Leon Forrest on Biography Website -- http://www.findbiography.org/writers/leon-forrest
-- Leon Forrest on Answers.com -- http://www.answers.com/topic/leon-forrest
-- Wikipedia -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Forrest
-- Leon Forrest on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=leon+forrest


Illinois Connection

Leon was born in and lived in Chicago most of his life. He attended the University of Chicago and headed the African American Studies department at Northwestern University for nine years.

Biographical and Professional Information

Leon Forrest was an African American novelist. His novels concerned mythology, history, and Chicago. Forrest attended Hyde Park High School, Wilson Junior College, Roosevelt University, and the University of Chicago. He served in Germany in the U.S. Army. After his term in the service, Forrest returned to Chicago determined to pursue a career as a writer.His first novel, ''There is a Tree More Ancient than Eden'', came out in 1973. His third novel ''Two Wings to Veil My Face'' won several awards. From 1985 to 1994, he was a professor and chair of the African American Studies department at Northwestern University. Chicago Mayor Harold Washington declared April 14, 1985 as - Leon Forrest Day in Chicago.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

There Is a Tree More Ancient Than Eden (Phoenix Fiction)
ISBN: 0226257215

University of Chicago Press. 2001

Leon Forrest, acclaimed author of Divine Days, uses a remarkable verbal intensity to evoke human tragedy, injustice, and spirituality in his writing. As Toni Morrison has said, "All of Forrest's novels explore the complex legacy of Afro-Americans. Like an insistent tide this history . . . swells and recalls America's past. . . . Brooding, hilarious, acerbic and profoundly valued life has no more astute observer than Leon Forrest." All of that is on display here in two novels that give readers a breathtaking view of the human experience, filled with humor and pathos.

The Bloodworth Orphans (Phoenix Fiction)
ISBN: 0226257223

University of Chicago Press. 2001

Leon Forrest, acclaimed author of Divine Days, uses a remarkable verbal intensity to evoke human tragedy, injustice, and spirituality in his writing. As Toni Morrison has said, "All of Forrest's novels explore the complex legacy of Afro-Americans. Like an insistent tide this history . . . swells and recalls America's past. . . . Brooding, hilarious, acerbic and profoundly valued life has no more astute observer than Leon Forrest." All of that is on display here in a novel that give readers a breathtaking view of the human experience, filled with humor and pathos.

Two Wings to Veil My Face: A Novel
ISBN: 155921192X

Moyer Bell Ltd. 1997

A ninety-one-year-old African American woman tells her story of passage from slavery to freedom to her twenty-one-year-old grandson

Divine Days
ISBN: 0393312216

W. W. Norton & Company. 1995

A unanimous chorus of critical acclaim greeted this powerful novel last year―one of the most significant works of African-American fiction since Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.

This huge oratorio of a novel unfolds over seven days in the life of Joubert Jones, an aspiring playwright making ends meet tending bar at his Aunt Eloise's Night Lounge. A Rabelaisian cast of characters and a Shakespearean range of voices crowd the pages of this book, an infinitely rich and suggestive tapestry of Black-American life and identity.

Meteor in the Madhouse
ISBN: 0810151146

Triquarterly. 2001

Book by Forrest, Leon, Drown, Merle