Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin had an early career as a teenage preacher. He lived in Paris from 1948-1956 and his first novels, the autobiographical GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN and GIOVANNI'S ROOM established him as a promising novelist and anticipated some of the themes of his later works, such as racism and sexuality. He became a prominent spokesperson for racial equality, especially during the civil rights movement. He lived in France during his last years. Baldwin died in 1987.
Riveting . . . part of Baldwin's enduring power is that he was not
a political thinker. He was interested in the soul's dark spaces
much more than in the body politic. -- Colm Toibin * Telegraph
The great poet-prophet of the civil rights movement ... his seminal work * Guardian *
Sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle . . . all presented in searing, brilliant prose * The New York Times Book Review *
Baldwin writes with great passion ... it reeks of truth, as the ghettoes of New York and London, Chicago and Manchester reek of our hypocrisy * Sunday Times *
A true prophet . . . his thought and its utterance are nothing less than majestical -- Mario Puzo * The New York Times *