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
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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
(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
Introduction by Edward P. Jones
Preface to the 1984 Edition
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