Baldwin's Harlem: A Biography of James Baldwin

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 8, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
Baldwin's Harlem is an intimate
portrait of the life and genius of one
of our most brilliant literary minds:
James Baldwin.

Perhaps no other writer is as synonymous with Harlem as James Baldwin (1924-1987). The events there that shaped his youth greatly influenced Baldwin's work, much of which focused on his experiences as a black man in white America. Go Tell It on the Mountain, The Fire Next Time, Notes of a Native Son, and Giovanni's Room are just a few of his classic fiction and nonfiction books that remain an essential part of the American canon.

In Baldwin's Harlem, award-winning journalist Herb Boyd combines impeccable biographical research with astute literary criticism, and reveals to readers Baldwin's association with Harlem on both metaphorical and realistic levels. For example, Boyd describes Baldwin's relationship with Harlem Renaissance poet laureate Countee Cullen, who taught Baldwin French in the ninth grade. Packed with telling anecdotes, Baldwin's Harlem illuminates the writer's diverse views and impressions of the community that would remain a consistent presence in virtually all of his writing.

Baldwin's Harlem provides an intelligent and enlightening look at one of America's most important literary enclaves.

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Baldwin's Harlem: a biography of James Baldwin

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Born in Harlem in 1924, James Baldwin was raised and educated there at a time when the glories of the Harlem Renaissance were giving way to the dark days of the Great Depression. In his latest effort ... Read full review


Born in Harlem
Encountering Countee Cullen
Malcolm X
The Harlem Six
The Jewish Ouestion
Harlem Real and Imagined
Cruses Crisis
Chronology of Major Events in James Baldwins Life
Selected Bibliography

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Page 5 - IT is ONLY in his music, which Americans are able to admire because a protective sentimentality limits their understanding of it, that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story. It is a story which otherwise has yet to be told and which no American is prepared to hear.
Page xxviii - In those days my mother was given to the exasperating and mysterious habit of having babies. As they were born, I took them over with one hand and held a book with the other. The children probably suffered, though they have since been kind enough to deny it, and in this way I read Uncle Tom's Cabin and A Tale of Two Cities over and over and over again...

About the author (2008)

HERB BOYD is an award-winning author and journalist who has published eighteen books and countless articles in national magazines and newspapers. Among his most popular books are We Shall Overcome and The Harlem Reader. Currently he is managing editor for The Black World Today and teaches at The City College of New York and the College of New Rochelle in the Bronx. He lives in Harlem with his wife.

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