Japanese by Spring (Hardcover)
Author: Ishmael Reed
Publisher: Atheneum (1993)
Benjamin "Chappie" Puttbutt, a black junior professor at the overwhelmingly white Jack London College, lusts after tenure and its glorious perks (including a house in the Oakland Hills). He spends most of his time trying to divine the ideological climate of the school and obligingly adapting his beliefs to it. When Puttbutt's mysterious Japanese tutor, who promises to teach him Japanese by spring, suddenly becomes the school's new president and appoints Puttbutt as academic dean, the fun really begins—for Puttbutt sets out to stir things up and settle old scores.
Turning every contemporary political and social movement on its head—from feminism to nationalism to jingoism—this boistrerous and irreverent novel manages to be by turns hilarious and totally serious.