BookSeriesInorder.com







James Baldwin Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Giovanni's Room (1956) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Another Country (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fire Next Time (1963) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
If Beale Street Could Talk (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Little Man, Little Man (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Just Above My Head (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Sonny's Blues (1957) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Going to Meet the Man (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jimmy's Blues (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gypsy (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
James Baldwin: Early Novels and Stories (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fifty Famous People (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Vintage Baldwin (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

Blues for Mister Charlie (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Amen Corner (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One Day, When I Was Lost (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Notes of a Native Son (1963) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nobody Knows My Name (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Antisemitism and Jewish Racism (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Harlem, USA (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rap on Race (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No Name in the Street (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Dialogue (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Devil Finds Work (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Price of the Ticket (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Baldwin: Collected Essays (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Native Sons (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cross of Redemption (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

James Baldwin was an American author well known for his novels, essays and poems. Baldwin wrote about everything from race to sex and class distinctions. The author’s works were well known for tackling complicated personal and social subjects in fictionalized settings.

+Biography

James Baldwin was born in Harlem in New York. Born in 1924, James was one of the first few African Americans that took a long and unflinching look at the issues of race and sex in the United States.

James’ mother, Emma Jones, left him in the dark about his biological father, refusing to even tell James his name. She raised him alone for a while before meeting and marrying David Baldwin, a Baptist Minister that James would come to call his father even in light of their strained relationship.

James Baldwin loved reading as a child. A student of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, James took great pleasure in contributing to the institution’s magazine. It didn’t take long for James’ peers to recognize his talents, what with all the poems, short stories and plays he kept churning out as a young student.

It wasn’t merely his writing abilities that drew interest, though. James Baldwin showed that he could understand and manipulate sophisticated tools and devices of literature at a point in his life where most other authors would have been struggling to master punctuations.

James was intent on furthering his education through college. However, following his departure from high school in 1942, it became evident that the author’s family needed his help to stay afloat.

With seven siblings to worry about, James did whatever work came his way and it didn’t take him long to encounter worrying levels of discrimination. After losing his job and failing to find another, and losing his father, it became evident that James would have to change direction if he wanted to succeed.

Moving to Greenwich Village in New York City made sense to the author because the neighborhood had become a hub for artists. James wanted to write a novel. But he needed a way of supporting himself financially while he got his writing done.

After struggling through a couple of odd jobs, James was finally fortunate enough to get a couple of his essays and short stories published. James’ fortunes also included meeting a writer by the names of Richard Wright who got him a fellowship in 1945 through which James was able to support himself.

Even though he had begun making headway as a writer by this point in time, it wasn’t until James Baldwin moved to Paris that he garnered the freedom necessary to tackle the personal and social topics that he cared about.

The author’s first novel, ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’, delved into his personal life and struggles with his father and the religion he inherited. This paved the way for James to tackle homosexuality in another novel.

Though it wasn’t until the author began talking about race that his star began to shine. Through books like ‘Nobody Knows My Name’ and ‘Notes of a Native’s Son’, Baldwin explored the deplorable aspects of African American life in the United States.

James’ books added a voice to the Civil Rights Movement of his time and forced readers to explore the black experience as it was understood in that era. Where other black authors were content to moan about the horrors of life in the 20th century, James Baldwin went so far as to write essays aimed at the white community, designed to show them what it meant to be black.

James wasn’t bleak or fatalistic. His works challenged white readers to try looking at life through the eyes of their African American neighbors. He was always clear about his hopes and dreams for a brighter future. He endeavored to encourage the men and women who poured over his essays to work towards bringing the racial nightmare in the West to an end.

People who followed James Baldwin during his final years will tell you that his optimism did not last. By the 1970s, it was clear that the author was losing faith, primarily because of all the violence he witnessed, this including the assassinations of notable African American figures like Martin Luther King Junior and Malcolm X.

The strident tone in his later works was difficult to ignore. By the late 1980s, the author’s fame had waned and his presence was only felt in the occasional observations he made about America in popular publications.

James Baldwin died in 1987. He was 61 at the time, living in France.

+Adaptations

James Baldwin wrote a memoir featuring his recollections of the Civil rights Movement and its leaders. Titled ‘Remember this House’, James never finished the manuscript, though it was used in the creation of ‘I am Not Your Negro’, a documentary film released by Raoul Peck in 2016.

‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’ was turned into a movie in 1985.

+Go Tell It On the Mountain

This novel tells the story of a teenage boy who struggles to understand his place in the world in light of his status as the stepson of a Pentecostal Church Minister. The boy struggles with matters of a spiritual, moral and sexual nature.

This was James Baldwin’s first notable literary effort. He admitted that the book was autobiographical delving into his own experiences as a young boy trying to re-invent himself in a difficult world.

The novel takes a hard look at an African American family and the manner in which it is impacted positively and negatively by religion.

+The Fire Next Time

This book was a bestseller when it hit the shelves back in the early 1960s. Rather short, the book constitutes two letters that speak to the black and the white community in America, urging them to overcome the legacy of racism.

This book is pretty harsh in the way it rebukes the American people, daring them to take a hard look at the consequences of emancipation and the manner in which the people of his country have squandered the freedoms they have been granted.

James Baldwin attacks the way Christianity was used to entrench racism; it is easy to see why some people might call this an angry book.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Baldwin