The Cross of Redemption
Publication Date: September 6, 2011
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The Cross of Redemption is a revelation by an American literary master: a gathering of essays, articles, polemics, reviews, and interviews that have never before appeared in book form.
James Baldwin was one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the past century, renowned for his fierce engagement with issues haunting our common history. In The Cross of Redemption we have Baldwin discoursing on, among other subjects, the possibility of an African-American president and what it might mean; the hypocrisy of American religious fundamentalism; the black church in America; the trials and tribulations of black nationalism; anti-Semitism; the blues and boxing; Russian literary masters; and the role of the writer in our society.
Prophetic and bracing, The Cross of Redemption is a welcome and important addition to the works of a cosmopolitan and canonical American writer who still has much to teach us about race, democracy, and personal and national identity. As Michael Ondaatje has remarked, “If van Gogh was our nineteenth-century artist-saint, Baldwin [was] our twentieth-century one.”
Randall Kenan is the author of several books including James Baldwin: American Writer, and Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the 21st Century. He work has been awarded a Guggenheim, Whiting Writers Award, Sherwood Anderson Award, John Dos Passos Award, and Rome Prize. He teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.