Go Tell It on the Mountain
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780375701870, 226pp.
Publication Date: September 12, 2013
The appearance of "The Fire Next Time" in 1963, just as the civil rights movement was exploding across the American South, galvanized the nation and continues to reverberate as perhaps the most prophetic and defining statement ever written of the continuing costs of Americans' refusal to face their own history. It became a national bestseller, and Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time magazine. Critic Irving Howe said that "The Fire Next Time" achieved "heights of passionate exhortation unmatched in modern American writing." In 1964 "Blues for Mister Charlie," his play based on the murder of a young black man in Mississippi, was produced by the Actors Studio in New York. That same year, Baldwin was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and collaborated with the photographer Richard Avedon on "Nothing Personal," a series of portraits of America intended as a eulogy for the slain Medger Evers. A collection of short stories, "Going to Meet the Man," was published in 1965, and in 1968, "Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone," his last novel of the 1960s appeared.
In the 1970s he wrote two more collections of essays and cultural criticism: "No Name in the Street" (1972) and "The Devil Finds Work" (1976). He produced two novels: the bestselling "If Beale Street Could Talk" (1974) and "Just Above My Head" (1979) and also a children's book "Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood" (1976). He collaborated with Margaret Mead on "A Rap on Race" (1971) and with the poet-activist Nikki Giovanni on "A Dialogue" (1973). He also adapted Alex Haley's "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" into "One Day When I Was Lost."
In the remaining years of his life, Baldwin produced a volume of poetry, "Jimmy's Blues" (1983), and a final collection of essays, "The Price of the Ticket." Baldwin's last work, "The Evidence of Things Not Seen" (1985), was prompted by a series of child murders in Atlanta. Baldwin was made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor in June 1986. Among the other awards he received are a Eugene F. Saxon Memorial Trust Award, a Rosenwald fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Partisan Review fellowship, and a Ford Foundation grant.
James Baldwin died at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in France on December 1, 1987.
“With vivid imagery, with lavish attention to details, Mr. Baldwin has told his feverish story.” —The New York Times
“Brutal, objective and compassionate.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“It is written with poetic intensity and great narrative skill.” —Harper’s
“Strong and powerful.” —Commonweal
“A sense of reality and vitality that is truly extraordinary. . . . He knows Harlem, his people, and the language they use.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“This is a distinctive book, both realistic and brutal, but a novel of extraordinary sensitivity and poetry.” —Chicago Sunday Tribune