Notes of a Native Son

Front Cover
Beacon Press, 1984 - Social Science - 175 pages
79 Reviews
A new edition published on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Baldwin's death, including a new introduction by an important contemporary writer
Since its original publication in 1955, this first nonfiction collection of essays by James Baldwin remains an American classic. His impassioned essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African Americans abroad are as powerful today as when they were first written.
"A straight-from-the-shoulder writer, writing about the troubled problems of this troubled earth with an illuminating intensity." --Langston Hughes, The New York Times Book Review
"Written with bitter clarity and uncommon grace." --Time

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

brilliant, deep writer. - Goodreads
I do love Baldwin's punchy, brillant, pithy prose. - Goodreads
Good educational and autobiography read. - Goodreads
Haunting...masterful...a lot to learn for any writer. - Goodreads
Excellent writing throughout. - Goodreads
He himself was a great writer and poet. - Goodreads

Review: Notes of a Native Son

User Review  - Benjamin Dueholm - Goodreads

Nine years ago this book really shook me up, and re-reading it today I found it fully as powerful. The first two essays, the title essay, and the last two are overwhelming, but there is brilliance in ... Read full review

Review: Notes of a Native Son

User Review  - Elizabeth - Goodreads

Very moving piece. Although it is scary to see society today dealing with some of the same issues that were happening in the 50's. Read full review

Selected pages


Preface to the 1984 Edition
Autobiographical Notes
Everybodys Protest Novel
Many Thousands Gone
The Dark Is Light Enough
The Harlem Ghetto
Journey to Atlanta
Notes of a Native Son
Black Meets Brown
A Question of Identity
Equal in Paris
Stranger in the Village

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Spatial Formations
Nigel Thrift
No preview available - 1996
All Book Search results »

About the author (1984)

James Baldwin (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, and one of America's foremost writers. His essays, such as "Notes of a Native Son" (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-twentieth-century America. A Harlem, New York, native, he primarily made his home in the south of France.
His novels include Giovanni's Room (1956), about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country (1962), about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals. His inclusion of gay themes resulted in much savage criticism from the black community. Going to Meet the Man (1965) and Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (1968) provided powerful descriptions of American racism. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people.

Bibliographic information