No other novel of our time strikes so close to the heart of the dilemma of the black artist in America that this contrversial, gripping portrait of a successful actor explosively confronting his angers, his shames, his past, and his passions. From its moving description of a boy growing up in Harlem to its frankly erotic scenes of love that shattered society's conventions, this is a narrative that cries out for social change and hits with hammer blows of truth at the conscience of a nation.
About the Author
James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic.
James Baldwin offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the 1950s and '60s. The eldest of nine children, his stepfather was a minister. At age 14, Baldwin became a preacher at the small Fireside Pentecostal Church in Harlem. In the early 1940s, he transferred his faith from religion to literature. Critics, however, note the impassioned cadences of Black churches are still evident in his writing. Go Tell It on the Mountain, his first novel, is a partially autobiographical account of his youth. His essay collections Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time were influential in informing a large white audience.
"Baldwin is one of the few genuinely indispensable American writers."
--Saturday Review "He has not himself lost access to the sources of his being--which is what makes him read and awaited by perhaps a wider range of people than any other major American writer."