James Baldwin

Author: James Baldwin

Profile: James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, poet, playwright and activist. His essays are particularly related to the United States in the mid-twentieth-century and as collected in Notes of a Native Son. Intricacies of class, sexual and racial distinctions in Western society are also explored in his essays.

James Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York, United States and died in Saint Paul de Vence, France. Right from an early age he developed a passion for reading and during his school years he demonstrated a gift for writing. He completed schooling at the DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.

Writing style: James Baldwin was a voice of the American movement for civil rights. He has been one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. By exploring social and racial issues in most of his works, Baldwin broke new literary ground. His essays on the Black experience in the United States have made him especially popular.

Published Texts:


1953 – Go Tell It on the Mountain (semi-autobiographical)

1956 – Giovanni’s Room

1962 – Another Country

1968 – Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone

1974 – If Beale Street Could Talk

1979 – Just Above My Head

Short Stories and Essays

1953 – Stranger in the Village

1954 – Gide as Husband and Homosexual

1956 – Faulkner and Desegregation

1957 – Sonny’s Blues

1957 – Princes and Powers

1958 – The Hard Kind of Courage

1959 – The Discovery of What It Means to Be an American

1959 – Nobody Knows My Name: A Letter from the South

1960 – Fifth Avenue, Uptown: A Letter from Harlem

1960 – The Precarious Vogue of Ingmar Bergman

1961 – A Negro Assays the Negro Mood

1961 – The Survival of Richard Wright

1961 – Richard Wright

1962 – Letter from a Region of My Mind

1962 – My Dungeon Shook

1963 – A Talk to Teachers

1967 – Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They’re Anti-White

1976 – The Devil Finds Work – a book-length essay


1955 – Notes of a Native Son

1961 – Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son

1963 – The Fire Next Time

1965 – Going to Meet the Man

1972 – No Name in the Street

1983 – Jimmy’s Blues

1985 – The Evidence of Things Not Seen

1985 – The Price of the Ticket

2010 – The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings

Plays and Audio

1954 – The Amen Corner

1964 – Blues for Mister Charlie

1990 – A Lover’s Question (album)

Collaborative Works

1964 – Nothing Personal

1971 – A Rap on Race

1971 – A Passenger from the West

1972 – One Day When I Was Lost

1973 – A Dialogue

1976 – Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood

2004 – Native Sons

Posthumous Collections

1998 – Early Novels & Stories: Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni’s Room, Another Country, Going to Meet the Man

1998 – Collected Essays: Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, The Fire Next Time, No Name in the Street, The Devil Finds Work, Other Essays

2014 – Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems

2015 – Later Novels: Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone, If Beale Street Could Talk Just Above My Head

2016 – Baldwin for Our Times: Writings from James Baldwin for an Age of Sorrow and Struggle

Awards and Acknowledgements:

1954 – Guggenheim Fellowship

Eugene F. Saxton Memorial Trust Award

Foreign Drama Critics Award

1963 – George Polk Memorial Award

1954, 1958, 1960 – MacDowell fellowships