Tag Archives: baldwin

James Baldwin – Another Country

Another Country is James Baldwin’s third novel, and is is quite a bit longer than Baldwin’s first two, maybe even longer than both of them combined.  It’s interesting to me that it basically covers a lot of the same ground that his essays … Continue reading

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James Baldwin – Nobody Knows My Name (and some other essays from the early 60’s)

The greatest takeaway for me from Nobody Knows Your Name is “Fifth Avanue, Uptown: A Letter from Harlem.”  In this essay Baldwin explores the phenomenology of police violence – again, if you don’t care what I have to say, at least … Continue reading

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James Baldwin – Giovanni’s Room

I was really surprised when I figured out that David, the protagonist of Baldwin’s second novel, Giovanni’s Room, was white.  The novel never says so directly, but he is described a handful of times as “blonde.”  In fact, as far … Continue reading

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Notes of a Native Son – Part 3 (of 3)

The last part of Notes of a Native Son is made up of several travel essays Baldwin wrote in Europe – “Encounter on the Seine: Black Meets Brown,” an essay about how African Americans see Africans (and vice-versa) in Paris; “A … Continue reading

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Notes of a Native Son – Part 2

…it goes without saying that injustice is a commonplace. But this did not mean that one could be complacent, for the second idea was of equal power: that one must never, in one’s own life, accept these injustices as commonplace but … Continue reading

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Notes of a Native Son – Part 1

Notes of a Native Son (1955) collects some previously published essays and includes some originally penned for the collection.  I have read the eponymous essay (“Notes of a Native Son”) with my classes for the last several years, and it’s … Continue reading

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James Baldwin – Go Tell It on the Mountain

Go Tell It on the Mountain is easy to underestimate, especially if you place it into the too-easy critical category of “semiautobiographical first novel.”  The first time I read it, a few years ago, I made just that mistake.  I spent … Continue reading

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James Baldwin – Earliest Collected Essays on Race, Sexuality and Bad Books

In six early book reviews, Baldwin pans what he sees as second-rate novels.  I read these pieces mostly with an eye to seeing trends in Baldwin’s views on the questions those novels dealt with more than as reviews per se (especially since I … Continue reading

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James Baldwin Summer Reading Project

My woefully monochromatic high school and college education exposed me to nothing that James Baldwin had written – not even to his name.  I can remember a friend in college once mentioning him and me pretending that I knew who he was. But … Continue reading

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