In 1953, a young James Baldwin published Go Tell It on the Mountain, winning acclaim as a literary star and one of the leading voices of the African-American experience. Although Baldwin would spend the bulk of his adult life in France, his writing always addressed the complexities at the heart of America, viewed through the lens of the consummate outsider.
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Also Known As:
James Arthur Baldwin (full name)
Date of Birth:
August 2, 1924
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Date of Death:
December 1, 1987
|Place of Death:
St. Paul de Vence, France
DeWitt Clinton High School, New York City
|The Collected Baldwin|
|William Styron on Baldwin|
|In a memorial piece in the The New York Times, William Styron remembered Baldwin: “At his peak he had the beautiful fervor of Camus or Kafka. Like them he revealed to me the core of his soul's savage distress and thus helped me shape and define my own work and its moral contours.”|
|A Classic of Gay Literature||More on Baldwin|
Baldwin also focused his literary attentions on his experience as a gay man. His second novel -- focused on themes of sexual identification in rural Paris, caused raised eyebrows even in the free-love sixties.
|Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin|
A look at Baldwin's complex, often adversarial relationships with the significant literary figures in his life -- from the writers that most influenced his work, to the ones who eventually became his contemporaries.
|Photo by the Bettman Archive||