Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin

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University of California Press, Jan 29, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 326 pages
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James Baldwin was one of America's finest and most influential writers. By the time he died in 1987, his books, such as The Fire Next Time, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and Giovanni's Room, had become modern classics.

James Campbell knew Baldwin for ten years before Baldwin's death. For this book, he interviewed many of Baldwin's friends and examined several hundred pages of correspondence. He quotes from the vast and disturbing file that the FBI compiled on Baldwin and he discusses Baldwin's sometimes turbulent relationships with Norman Mailer, Richard Wright, and Marlon Brando, as well as his friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. Elegantly written, candid, and original, Talking at the Gates is a comprehensive account of the life and work of a writer who believed that "the unexamined life is not worth living."
 

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TALKING AT THE GATES: A Life of James Baldwin

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Furious life of James Baldwin (1924-87), coolly retold by a Times Literary Supplement editor and friend. Campbell makes it clear that Baldwin's strength lay in the essay but that he used the novel ... Read full review

Contents

Lord I aint No Stranger Now
47
A Severe Cross
115
Tear This Building Down
187
Abbreviations Used in Notes
303
Bibliography
313
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About the author (2002)

James Campbell is the author of This Is the Beat Generation: New York, San Francisco, Paris (California, 2001), Exiled in Paris: Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett and Others on the Left Bank (1995), and Invisible Country: A Journey through Scotland (1990). He works for the Times Literary Supplement.

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