Summary: Novelist, essayist, and public intellectual, James Baldwin was one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the postwar era, and one of the greatest African-American writers of this century. A self-described "transatlantic commuter" who spent much of his life in France, Baldwin joined a cosmopolitan sophistication with a fierce engagement in social issues. Here, in an authoritative two-volume edition which includes Early Novels and Stories ...show moreand Collected Essays, The Library of America brings together the most important of Baldwin's novels, stories, and essays, revealing the breadth and enduring power of his work.
Early Novels and Stories presents the novels and short stories that established Baldwin's reputation as a writer who fused unblinking realism with rare verbal eloquence. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), tells the story, rooted in Baldwin's own experience, of a preacher's son coming of age in 1930's Harlem. Giovanni's Room (1956) is a searching, and in its day controversial, treatment of the tragic self-delusions of a young American expatriate at war with his own homosexuality. Another Country (1962), a wide-ranging exploration of America's racial and sexual boundaries, depicts the suicide of a gifted drummer and its ripple effect on those who knew him. Going to Meet the Man (1965) collects Baldwin's short fiction, including the masterful "Sonny's Blues," his unforgettable portrait of a jazz pianist struggling with drug addiction. ...show less