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James Baldwin

1924-1987

African-American author

Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn't have it and thought of other things if you did. -- James Baldwin

James Baldwin ( New York , August 2 of 1924 - Saint-Paul de Vence , France , December 1 of 1987 ) was an American African American , particularly known for his novel Go Tell It on the Mountain .

The youngest of nine children, grew up in poverty, developing a troubled relationship with his stepfather, a rigid person and very religious. As a child looking for a way out: "I knew I was black, of course, but I also knew to be very smart. Was not sure how I would use the brain, or if I could use it, but that was the only thing that I could use ".

At the age of 14 years Baldwin spends a lot of time in the library and discovered his passion for writing. Following in the footsteps of his father became a preacher at a small Pentecostal church in Harlem . "In those three years in the pulpit - I realize now - that I became a writer, a real writer, was having to deal with all that anguish and despair, and with all that beauty." You can easily find a strong influence of religious language in Baldwin, in his style and in his tone. Eager to leave home (why leave the pulpit also meant having to leave home) Baldwin finds employment in the railways of New Jersey .


After a while ', he moved to Greenwich Village , where he met the writer Richard Wright . For some years he worked as a freelance , writing mainly editorial reviews. Even though he had not yet written a novel, Wright earned him a scholarship to Paris . Here Baldwin is the right distance from the American society in which he grew up to be able to finally write.


Since 1948 lives mostly in the south of France , but often returns in the United States for talks and conferences and the 1957 gets used to spend about six months a year in New York . From Paris Baldwin moved to Switzerland , where he wrote his first novel, " Go Tell It On The Mountain To , "published in 1953 , autobiographical work about his youth in Harlem . The passion and the depth with which he told the fight for the lives of young American blacks was unprecedented. The novel, though not immediately got this recognition, is considered a classic of American fiction.

During the fifties Baldwin moves between Paris , New York and Istanbul and writes the collection of essays " Notes For A Native Son "and the novel" Giovanni's Room ", when speaking of topics at once taboo , such as' homosexuality and relationships between people of different races.

" When you find yourself in another culture, you are forced to re-examine your "he writes. Paradoxically, the journeys of the world Baldwin approached him even more time to America. At the beginning of the sixties is back in the United States to participate in the movement for civil rights. Take a trip around the South and wrote a work considered explosive black identity and the situation of the anti-racist: " The Fire Next Time . "
Baldwin is a member of the movement for civil rights in the sixties, although it is often criticized for his pacifist approach. After the release of " Another Country "is harshly attacked for speaking of homosexuality within the black community in New York. Just to have addressed the issue of sexual diversity, Eldridge Cleaver , leader of the Black Panthers , accuses the works of Baldwin of "absolute hatred for blacks." As if in answer, Baldwin emphasizes his stance against sex discrimination.

After the assassination of personality that was as close as Medgar Evers , Martin Luther King and Malcolm X , he returned to France and works in a book that expresses the disillusionment of that historic moment, " If Beale Street Could Talk . " Although in this book shows all the anger of Baldwin for recent events, there is always an advocate of love and universal brotherhood.


During the last ten years of his life composed numerous works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry and finds teaching as a new way to get closer to young people. It remains one of the most important and active supporters of racial equality until his death in 1987 in Saint-Paul de Vence in France . His latest novel, " Just Above My Head "is the 1979 . In 1986 he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the government French .
Although he spent most of his life abroad, Baldwin remains essentially an American writer, who has never ceased to reflect on his experience as a black man in white America.

The main themes of the work of Baldwin are the racism and sexuality in the United States in the mid-twentieth century. His novels explore a personal way the issues of collective identity, and put into question the social pressures to black and homosexual groups, long before social equality, cultural and political life of these groups have been achieved in your country.

Novels
1953 - Go Tell It on the Mountain ( Go To Tell It in the Mountain ). Spanish translation: Barcelona: Lumen, 1972.
1953 - Stranger in the Village .
1956 - Giovanni's Room ( Giovanni's Room ). Spanish translation: Barcelona: Bruguera, 1980.
1962 - Another Country ( Another Country ). Spanish translation: Barcelona: Versal, 1984.
1968 - Tell me how long the train was ( Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone ). Spanish translation: Barcelona: Lumen, 1974.
1974 - Beale Street Blues ( If Beale Street Could Talk . translation into Spanish: Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 1974.
1979 - Over my head ( Just Above My Head ). Spanish translation: Barcelona: Bruguera, 1982.
[ edit ] Stories
1957 - Sonny's Blues .
[ edit ] Theatre
1954 - The Amen Corner .
1964 - Blues for Mister Charlie: Drama in Three Acts ( Blues for Mister Charlie ).
[ edit ] Trials
1955 - Notes of a Native Son (essays and short stories).
1961 - Nobody Knows My Name ( Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son ). Spanish translation: Barcelona: Lumen, 1970. (Essays and stories).
1963 - The next time the fire ( The Fire Next Time ). Spanish translation: Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 1964.
1965 - At the meeting of man ( Going to Meet the Man ). Essays and stories. Spanish translation: Buenos Aires: Contemporary Time, 1971.
1972 - No Name in the Streets .
1976 - The Devil Finds Work .
1985 - The Price of the Ticket .
1985 - The Evidence of Things Not Seen .
[ edit ] Poetry
1985 - Jimmy's blues .
[ edit ] In collaboration with other authors
1964 - Nothing Personal ( Nothing Personal ). With Richard Avedon (photographs).
1971 - A blow to racism ( A Rap on Race ). With Margaret Mead. Spanish translation: Mexico: extemporaneous, 1972.
1972 - One Day When I Was Lost (orig.: A. Haley)
1973 - A Dialogue . With Nikki Giovanni) .
1976 - Little man, little man . With Yoran Lazac. Children's Literature.


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