Giovanni's Room

Giovanni's Room

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend's return to Paris destroys everything. Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened - while Giovanni's life descends into tragedy. United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love...
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Go Tell It on the Mountain

Go Tell It on the Mountain

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

“Mountain,” Baldwin said, “is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else.” Go Tell It On The Mountain, first published in 1953, is Baldwin's first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.
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The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

An alternate cover edition can be found here. A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.
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Just Above My Head

Just Above My Head

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

The stark grief of a brother mourning a brother opens this novel with a stunning, unforgettable experience.  Here, in a monumental saga of love and rage, Baldwin goes back to Harlem, to the church of his groundbreaking novel Go Tell It on the Mountain, to the homosexual passion of Giovanni's Room, and to the political fire that enflames his nonfiction work.  Here, too, the story of gospel singer Arthur Hall and his family becomes both a journey into another country of the soul and senses--and a living contemporary history of black struggle in this land.
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The Devil Finds Work

The Devil Finds Work

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

James Baldwin At The Movies...  Provocative, timeless, brilliant. Bette Davis's eyes, Joan Crawford's bitchy elegance, Stepin Fetchit's stereotype, Sidney Poitier's superhuman black man...  These are the movie stars and the qualities that influenced James Baldwin...  and now become part of his incisive look at racism in American movies. Baldwin challenges the underlying assumptions in such films as In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Exorcist, offering us a vision of America's self-delusions and deceptions.  Here are our loves and hates, biases and cruelties, fears and ignorance reflected by the films that have entertained us and shaped our consciousness.  And here, too, is the stunning prose of a writer whose passion never diminished his struggle for equality, justice, and social change. From The Birth of a Nation to The Exorcist--one of America's most important writers turns his critical eye to American film.
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Nobody Knows My Name

Nobody Knows My Name

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

Told with Baldwin's characteristically unflinching honesty, this collection of illuminating, deeply felt essays examines topics ranging from race relations in the United States to the role of the writer in society, and offers personal accounts of Richard Wright, Norman Mailer and other writers.
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Blues for Mister Charlie

Blues for Mister Charlie

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

In a small Southern town, a white man murders a black man, then throws his body in the weeds. With this act of violence--which is loosely based on the notorious 1955 killing of Emmett Till--James Baldwin launches an unsparing and at times agonizing probe of the wounds of race. For where once a white storekeeper could have shot a "boy" like Richard Henry with impunity, times have changed. And centuries of brutality and fear, patronage and contempt, are about to erupt in a moment of truth as devastating as a shotgun blast. In his award-winning play, Baldwin turns a murder and its aftermath into an inquest in which even the most well-intentioned whites are implicated--and in which even a killer receives his share of compassion.
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Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems

Jimmy's Blues and Other Poems

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

All of the published poetry of James Baldwin, including six significant poems previously only available in a limited edition During his lifetime (1924–1987), James Baldwin authored seven novels, as well as several plays and essay collections, which were published to wide-spread praise. These books, among them Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time, Giovanni’s Room, and Go Tell It on the Mountain, brought him well-deserved acclaim as a public intellectual and admiration as a writer. However, Baldwin’s earliest writing was in poetic form, and Baldwin considered himself a poet throughout his lifetime. Nonetheless, his single book of poetry, Jimmy’s Blues, never achieved the popularity of his novels and nonfiction, and is the one and only book to fall out of print. This new collection presents James Baldwin the poet, including all nineteen poems from Jimmy’s Blues, as well as all the poems from a limited-edition volume called Gypsy, of which only 325 copies were ever printed and which was in production at the time of his death. Known for his relentless honesty and startlingly prophetic insights on issues of race, gender, class, and poverty, Baldwin is just as enlightening and bold in his poetry as in his famous novels and essays. The poems range from the extended dramatic narratives of “Staggerlee wonders” and “Gypsy” to the lyrical beauty of “Some days,” which has been set to music and interpreted by such acclaimed artists as Audra McDonald. Nikky Finney’s introductory essay reveals the importance, relevance, and rich rewards of these little-known works. Baldwin’s many devotees will find much to celebrate in these pages.
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Going to Meet the Man: Stories

Going to Meet the Man: Stories

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

"There's no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it." The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their head above water. It may be the heroin that a down-and-out jazz pianist uses to face the terror of pouring his life into an inanimate instrument. It may be the brittle piety of a father who can never forgive his son for his illegitimacy. Or it may be the screen of bigotry that a redneck deputy has raised to blunt the awful childhood memory of the day his parents took him to watch a black man being murdered by a gleeful mob. By turns haunting, heartbreaking, and horrifying--and informed throughout by Baldwin's uncanny knowledge of the wounds racism has left in both its victims and its perpetrators--Going to Meet the Man is a major work by one of our most important writers.
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Notes of a Native Son

Notes of a Native Son

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

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.
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No Name in the Street

No Name in the Street

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

This stunningly personal document and extraordinary history of the turbulent sixties and early seventies displays James Baldwin's fury and despair more deeply than any of his other works.  In vivid detail he remembers the Harlem childhood that shaped his early conciousness, the later events that scored his heart with pain--the murders of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, his sojourns in Europe and in Hollywood, and his retum to the American South to confront a violent America face-to-face.
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Nordic Hero Tales From the Kalevala

Nordic Hero Tales From the Kalevala

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

A homesick hero, a pair of friendly rivals, a triumphant bridegroom, and a golden maiden populate the pages of this treasury, a collection of awe-inspiring stories from Finnish mythology. Assembled by educator James Baldwin, a specialist in adapting ancient narratives into captivating prose, these 38 entrancing tales are drawn from the oral traditions of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala.The Kalevala spans many ages, from the beginning of the earth to the remote past, long before its legends were sung and chanted in humble homes and grand palaces alike. Its tales of heroes and gods center on the fate of a sampo, a highly prized and jealously guarded magical artifact. J. R. R. Tolkien was much influenced by this fantasy cycle of the Far North, and readers of all ages continue to fall under its spell. This edition of the beloved classic features four magnificent illustrations by N. C. Wyeth.
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Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone

Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

At the height of his theatrical career, the actor Leo Proudhammer is nearly felled by a heart attack. As he hovers between life and death, Baldwin shows the choices that have made him enviably famous and terrifyingly vulnerable.   For between Leo's childhood on the streets of Harlem and his arrival into the intoxicating world of the theater lies a wilderness of desire and loss, shame and rage. An adored older brother vanishes into prison. There are love affairs with a white woman and a younger black man, each of whom will make irresistible claims on Leo's loyalty. And everywhere there is the anguish of being black in a society that at times seems poised on the brink of total racial war. Overpowering in its vitality, extravagant in the intensity of its feeling, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone is a major work of American literature.  
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The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings

The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings

James Baldwin

Fiction / Politics / Poetry

The Cross of Redemption is a revelation by an American literary master: a gathering of essays, articles, polemics, reviews, and interviews that have never before appeared in book form. James Baldwin was one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the past century, renowned for his fierce engagement with issues haunting our common history. In The Cross of Redemption we have Baldwin discoursing on, among other subjects, the possibility of an African-American president and what it might mean; the hypocrisy of American religious fundamentalism; the black church in America; the trials and tribulations of black nationalism; anti-Semitism; the blues and boxing; Russian literary masters; and the role of the writer in our society. Prophetic and bracing, The Cross of Redemption is a welcome and important addition to the works of a cosmopolitan and canonical American writer who still has much to teach us about race, democracy, and personal and national identity. As Michael Ondaatje has remarked, “If van Gogh was our nineteenth-century artist-saint, Baldwin [was] our twentieth-century one.”
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