Campbell James : James Baldwin:Son of A Preacher Man

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9780140123951: Campbell James : James Baldwin:Son of A Preacher Man

James Baldwin was one of America's finest and most influential writers. By the time he died, his books, such as The Fire Next Time, Go Tell It on the Mountain and Giovanni's Room, had become modern classics.

James Campbell knew Baldwin for ten years before Baldwin's death in 1987. Based on interviews with his friends and his extensive correspondences, Talking at the Gates gives a full life of Baldwin, including his sometimes turbulent relationships with Norman Mailer, Richard Wright and Marlon Brando, as well as his friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. Elegantly written, candid and original, it is a comprehensive account of the life and work of a writer who believed that 'the unexamined life is not worth living.

'Baldwin's best biographer.' New York Times Book Review

'Approaching Baldwin without reverence, though not quite irreverently, Campbell brings a mixture of intellectual integrity and something like truculence to the biographer's task. ... [He] plays along effectively with Baldwin's great zest for life, his love of the comic, his self-deprecating, balancing knowledge of himself as both poseur and prophet.' Times Literary Supplement

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"The unexamined life is not worth living" - this was James Baldwin's motto. Born in 1924 in Harlem, his first public success was as a boy preacher. His early essays and stories were published in New York's leading intellectual journals, but in 1948 Baldwin fled from the horrors of American racism to Paris. Living there in poverty, among the expatriate community, he wrote "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Giovanni's Room". "Talking at the Gates" is a biography of one of America's most influential black writers. It offers fresh insights into Baldwin's friendships and rivalries, with Norman Mailer, Richard Wright, Marlon Brando and others, his love for Martin Luther King, his flirtation with the Black Panthers, and his homosexuality.

Review:

"Frank and affectionate."--"Times Literary Supplement, 3/22

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