This is a biography of James Baldwin, author, one-time preacher, and civil rights activist. He chose David Leeming, a close friend and colleague, to write his biography and granted him access to his correspondence. Leeming traces his life from his birth in Harlem in 1924 to his self-imposed exile in Europe, his later years as political activist, and his public funeral in 1987.
©1994 David Leeming, First Arcade Edition 2015 (P)2014 Audible Inc.
This biography of James Baldwin is very well researched, engaging, and very balanced. Baldwin as a black man dealing with racism and oppression, Baldwin as a gay man facing homophobia, Baldwin as religious man seeking the divine, and Baldwin as author perfecting his craft all get more or less equal treatment.
Leeming knows and attends to the history of Baldwin's time and the political and social issues of the day; he is very familiar with Baldwin's fictional and non-fictional texts. The book moves well and can be read along with Baldwin's novels to bring additional depth to the reading of his works. The audio performance is very good.
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