Go Tell It on the Mountain
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Dell, Mass Market Paperback, 9780440330073, 272pp.
Publication Date: November 10, 1985
James Baldwin's stunning first novel is now an American classic. With startling realism that brings Harlem and the black experience vividly to life, this is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism in America. Moving through time from the rural South to the northern ghetto, starkly contrasting the attitudes of two generations of an embattles family, Go Tell It On The Mountain is an unsurpassed portrayal of human beings caught up in a dramatic struggle and of a society confronting inevitable change.
"The most important novel written about the American Negro," says Commentary. "It is written with poetic intensity and great narrative skill," writes Harper's. Saturday Review praises it as "masterful," and the San Francisco Chronicle declares that this important American novel is "brutal, objective and compassionate."
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. "From the Trade Paperback edition."
“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