Author Spotlight | James Baldwin

Image via Gale Biography in Context

Who: James Arthur Baldwin

What: American novelist and essayist

When: Born August 2, 1924; died December 1, 1987

Where: Born in Harlem; died in France, where he spent the last 15 years of his life

Work I’ve read:
Go Tell It on the Mountain
The Fire Next Time
If Beale Street Could Talk

Favorite words:

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”
“I often wonder what I'd do if there weren't any books in the world.”
“We are very cruelly trapped between what we would like to be and what we actually are. And we cannot possibly become what we would like to be until we are willing to ask ourselves just why the lives we lead on this continent are mainly so empty, so tame, and so ugly.”

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