James Baldwin eBooks
James Baldwin was an American writer best known for his essays and novels dealing with racial and sexual politics.
Born in New York in 1924, his family was very poor and he was often required to care for his younger siblings. The events of his 19th birthday, which included his stepfather’s funeral, the birth of his last sibling, and a riot in Harlem, were documented in his essay, Notes of a Native Son.
Baldwin became involved in the artistic community of Greenwich Village when he was a teenager. In 1948, he moved to Paris to move beyond the restrictions of being an African American writer. While there, he began publishing work in literary anthologies.
Go Tell It on the Mountain, his first novel, was published in 1953. Notes of a Native Son, a collection of essays, was published in 1955. The two books would become some of his best known works.
They were followed in 1956 by Baldwin’s second novel, Giovanni’s Room. The novel was controversial for its explicit homoerotic material. It was followed by two additional novels dealing with race and sexuality, 1962’s Another Country and 1968’s Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone.
Throughout his career, which continued until his death in 1987, Baldwin published seven novels and seven collections of essays, along with several plays and a volume of poetry, titles Sonny’s Blues. He was also involved in the civil rights and peace movements through the 1960s. This was at the base of many of his essays, including 1963’s Down at the Cross.