Thursday, August 02, 2012

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. James Baldwin

The author of Go Tell It on the Mountain was born on this day in 1924.

James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelistessayistplaywrightpoet, and social critic.
Baldwin's essays, such as the collection Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies ofracialsexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America, vis-à-vis their inevitable if unnameable tensions with personal identity, assumptions, uncertainties, yearning, and questing.[1]Some Baldwin essays are book-length, for instance The Fire Next Time (1963), No Name in the Street (1972), andThe Devil Finds Work (1976).
His novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only blacks yet also of male homosexuals—depicting as well some internalized impediments to such individuals' quest for acceptance—namely in his second novel, Giovanni's Room (1956), written well before the equality of homosexuals was widely espoused in America.[2]Baldwin's best-known novel is his first, Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953).

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