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Notes of a Native Sonby James Baldwin
These brilliant essays, which ultimately form a profound meditation on what it means to be "native" to this complex and brutal country we call America, were originally published in the 1940s and 1950s. Sadly, it came as no surprise to me how timely and important this collection remains today. Baldwin raises many important questions that both demand and deserve discussion, exactly the type of challenging discourse that, if more frequently practiced, could bend this nation in the direction of justice.
Synopses & Reviews
A new edition published on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Baldwin’s death, including a new introduction by an important contemporary writer
Since its original publication in 1955, this first nonfiction collection of essays by James Baldwin remains an American classic. His impassioned essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African Americans abroad are as powerful today as when they were first written.
“A straight-from-the-shoulder writer, writing about the troubled problems of this troubled earth with an illuminating intensity.” —Langston Hughes, The New York Times Book Review
“Written with bitter clarity and uncommon grace.” —Time
Originally published in 1955, James Baldwin's first nonfiction book has become a classic. These searing essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and Americans abroad remain as powerful today as when they were written.
About the Author
James Baldwin (1924–1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, and one of America's foremost writers. His essays, such as “Notes of a Native Son” (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-twentieth-century America. A Harlem, New York, native, he primarily made his home in the south of France.
His novels include Giovanni’s Room (1956), about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country (1962), about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals. His inclusion of gay themes resulted in much savage criticism from the black community. Going to Meet the Man (1965) and Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone (1968) provided powerful descriptions of American racism. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people.
Table of Contents
Everybody's protest novel — Many thousands gone — Carmen Jones: the dark is light enough — The Harlem ghetto — Journey to Atlanta — Notes of a Native Son — Encounter on the Seine: Black meets Brown — A question of identity — Equal in Paris — Stranger in the village.
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