From one of the most brilliant writers and thinkers of the twentieth century comes a collection of "passionate, probing, controversial" essays (The Atlantic) on topics ranging from race relations in the United States to the role of the writer in society.
Told with Baldwin's characteristically unflinching honesty, this “splendid book” (The New York Times) offers illuminating, deeply felt essays along with personal accounts of Richard Wright, Norman Mailer and other writers.
“James Baldwin is a skillful writer, a man of fine intelligence and a true companion in the desire to make life human. To take a cue from his title, we had better learn his name.” —The New York Times
Since first reading his writing in high school, I’ve always found James Baldwin’s work powerful, enlightening, and beautiful. I also found it to be of a period. Probably erroneously, but that was the purview of someone who had his head in the sand, trying to hide what and who he was and forcing himself into a life that wasn’t his and would never be. While I like to think I’ve grown and become more aware of the experiences of many more of my fellow humans rather than just those in my barely suburban surrounding, over the past seven years (since 2016) (do the math), Baldwin’s words have exploded into the current zeitgeist in relevance and importance.
James Baldwin was a poet, intellect, observer, activist, and recorder of the human existence from a specific point of view, one that should be read by every thinking, feeling person in the world.