John A. Williams

“…arguably the finest African-American novelist of his generation.”

John A. Williams photo

John A. Williams is a Top 100 Bestselling Author Making Our List 6 Times

John A Williams (1962)
John Alfred Williams
Source: Generations in Black & White

John Alfred Williams (December 5, 1925 – July 3, 2015) was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1925.  He earned a degree in English and Journalism from Syracuse University in 1950 (after service in the navy).  After the publication of The Angry Ones in 1960, when he was 35, John A. Williams went on to have a distinguished literary career, including the publication of his second novel Sissie, and the classic 1967 bestseller, The Man Who Cried I Am.

Williams professional career included teaching at the College of the Virgin Islands, the City College of New York, Sarah Lawrence College and was a professor of English at Rutgers University of the Virgin Islands, the City College of New York, Sarah Lawrence College and he was a professor of English at Rutgers University.

Williams received the Syracuse University Centennial Medal for Outstanding Achievement. He is also a member of the Nation Institute of Arts and Letters.   Williams also won the 1998 American Book Award for Safari West.  Williams has written about 21 fiction and non-fiction books.

Williams wrote a terrific article, back in 1963, “Negro in Literature Today” for Ebony Magazine.

Williams retired in 1994 from Rutgers University, where he was Paul Robeson Professor of English. He lived in Teaneck, N.J., with his wife, Lori. He has three sons, Gregory, a pharmaceutical executive in Philadelphia; Dennis, an author and administrator at Georgetown University; and Adam, the guitarist for the rock group Powerman 5000.  Williams passed on July 3, 2015, at the age of 89, from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease

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Read our “An Interview with John A. Williams” Interview with John A. Williams

22 Books by John A. Williams

Book Cover Safari West: Poems by John A. Williams

Safari West

Book Cover One for New York by John A. Williams

One for New York

Book Cover The Angry Ones by John A. Williams

The Angry Ones

Book Cover Sissie by John A. Williams


Book Cover !Click Song by John A. Williams

!Click Song

Book Cover Jacob’s Ladder by John A. Williams

Jacob’s Ladder

Book Cover Night Song by John A. Williams

Night Song