Going to Meet the Man: WITH The "Rockpile": The Rockpile; the Outing; the Man Child; Previous Condition; Sonny's Blues (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)

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9780140184495: Going to Meet the Man: WITH The

'Few, it seems to me, have driven their words with such passion' Guardian How our earliest experiences can shape our destiny is the theme that runs like a thread of revelation through these extraordinary stories. They explore the roots of love, of murder and of racial conflict, from the child in 'The Rockpile' who can never be forgiven by his God-fearing father for his illegitimacy to the loneliness of a young black girl in love with a white man who, she knows, will leave her in 'Come Out of the Wilderness' and the horrifying story of the initiation of a racist as a man remembers his parents taking him to see the mutilation and murder of a black man in 'Going to Meet the Man'. In them Baldwin unlocks the concepts of history and prejudice and probes beneath the skin to the soul.

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From the Inside Flap:

"There's no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it." The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their head above water. It may be the heroin that a down-and-out jazz pianist uses to face the terror of pouring his life into an inanimate instrument. It may be the brittle piety of a father who can never forgive his son for his illegitimacy. Or it may be the screen of bigotry that a redneck deputy has raised to blunt the awful childhood memory of the day his parents took him to watch a black man being murdered by a gleeful mob.
By turns haunting, heartbreaking, and horrifying--and informed throughout by Baldwin's uncanny knowledge of the wounds racism has left in both its victims and its perpetrators--Going to Meet the Man is a major work by one of our most important writers.

About the Author:

Born in Harlem in 1924, James Baldwin was a novelist, essayist, play-wright, poet, social critic, and the author of more than twenty books. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay col-lection The Fire Next Time was a bestseller that made him an influential figure in the civil rights movement. Baldwin spent many years in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in 1987.

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