James Baldwin

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Baldwin, James,

1924–87, American author, b. New York City. He spent an impoverished boyhood in Harlem, became a Pentecostal preacher at 14, and left the church three years later. He moved to Paris in 1947 and his first two novels, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), reflecting his experience as a young preacher, and Giovanni's Room (1956), which dealt with his homosexuality, as well as the intensely personal, racially charged essay collection Notes of a Native Son (1955), were written while he lived there. Baldwin returned to the United States in 1957 and participated in the civil-rights movement, later returning to France where he lived for the remainder of his life. Another Country (1962), a bitter novel about sexual relations and racial tension, received critical acclaim, as did the perceptive essays in what is probably his most celebrated book, The Fire Next Time (1963). His eloquence and unsparing honesty made Baldwin one of the most influential authors of his time. Other works include the play Blues for Mr. Charlie (1964); a volume of short stories, Going to Meet the Man (1964); and the novels If Beale Street Could Talk (1974), the story of a young black couple victimized by the judicial system, and Just above My Head (1979). Collections of essays include Nobody Knows My Name (1961), No Name in the Street (1972), and The Price of a Ticket (1985). His Collected Essays was published in 1998 and The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings in 2010.


See biographies by W. J. Wetherby (1989), J. Campbell (1991), and D. Leeming (1994); interviews in James Baldwin: The Legacy (1989, ed. by Q. Troupe) and Conversations with James Baldwin (1989, ed. by F. L. Standley and L. H. Pratt); studies by L. H. Pratt (1985), H. A. Porter (1989), D. A. McBride, ed. (1999), D. Q. Miller (2000), L. O. Scott (2002), H. Bloom, ed. (2006), D. Field, ed. (2009), and M. J. Zaborowska (2009).

Baldwin, James (Arthur)

(1924–87) writer; born in Harlem, N.Y. Son of a preacher, as a teenager he himself was a preacher in a Harlem pentecostal church. After high school he began publishing polemical essays on the black experience in journals including The Nation and Commentary. Supported largely by fellowships, he began writing fiction in Paris (1948–56). His first novels, the autobiographical Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) and Giovanni's Room (1956) established him as a promising novelist and anticipated some of the themes dealt with in later works, such as racism and homosexuality. In the U.S.A. (1957–1970s) he became a civil rights activist, and, through his essays, plays, and lectures, something of a celebrity as a spokesman for angry African-Americans. His novels include Another Country (1962), Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (1968), and Just Above My Head (1979). His essays were collected in several volumes including Notes of a Native Son (1955), Nobody Knows My Name (1961), The Fire Next Time (1963), and The Price of a Ticket (1985). His plays include The Amen Corner (produced 1955), Blues for Mister Charlie (1964). He lived in France during his last years, although he returned to the U.S.A. to hold special academic appointments.
References in periodicals archive ?
Baldwin, James Mark, 'A New Factor in Evolution,' American Naturalist, vol.
Baldwin, James Mark, 'Consciousness and Evolution,' American Naturalist, 1896, pp.
Baldwin, James Mark, 'Heredity and Instinct (Part 1),' Science NS III, 1896, pp.
Baldwin, James Mark, 'Physical and Social Heredity,' American Naturalist, 1896, pp.
Baldwin, James Mark, Social and Ethical Interpretations in Mental Development, New York, The Macmillan Company / Elibron Classics, 1897 / 2005.
Baldwin, James Mark, The Story of the Mind, New York, BiblioBazaar, 1898 / 2007.
Baldwin, James Mark, Fragments in Philosophy and Science, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons / Elibron Classics, 1902 / 2005.
Baldwin, James Mark, Development and Evolution: Including Psychophysical Evolution, Evolution by Orthoplasy, and the Theory of Genetic Modes, New York, The Macmillan Company / Elibron Classics, 1902 / 2005.
Baldwin, James Mark, Darwin and the Humanities, Baltimore, Review Publishing, 1909.
Baldwin, James Mark, Genetic Theory of Reality, New York, G.
Last week, Ospreys quartet Scott Baldwin, James King, Dan Baker and Rory Thornton all signed National Dual Contracts with the WRU which took the total tally to 16.
GHOSTS FROM THE PAST ALEC BALDWIN, JAMES WOODS DIRECTOR: ROB REINER Lawywe Alec Baldwin opens up a 30-year-old case and discovers that evidence on the killing of a civil rights worker is very thin.