""Mountain,"" Baldwin said, "is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else." "Go Tell It on the Mountain," originally published in 1953, is Baldwin's first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery one Saturday in March of 1935 of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a Pentecostal storefront church in Harlem. Baldwin's rendering of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle toward self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.
About the Author
James Baldwin (1924 1987) was educated in New York. His first novel, "Go Tell It on the Mountain", received excellent reviews and was immediately recognized as establishing a profound and permanent new voice in American letters. The appearance of "The Fire Next Time" in 1963, just as the civil rights movement was exploding across the American South, galvanized the nation and continues to reverberate as perhaps the most prophetic and defining statement ever written of the continuing costs of Americans refusal to face their own history. It became a national bestseller, and Baldwin was featured on the cover of "Time". The next year, he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and collaborated with the photographer Richard Avedon on "Nothing Personal", a series of portraits of America intended as a eulogy for the slain Medger Evers. His other collaborations include "A Rap on Race" with Margaret Mead and "A Dialogue" with the poet-activist Nikki Giovanni. He also adapted Alex Haley s "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" into "One Day When I Was Lost". He was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor a year before his death, one honor among many he achieved in his life.
“With vivid imagery, with lavish attention to details, Mr. Baldwin has told his feverish story.” —The New York Times
“Brutal, objective and compassionate.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“It is written with poetic intensity and great narrative skill.” —Harper’s
“Strong and powerful.” —Commonweal
“A sense of reality and vitality that is truly extraordinary. . . . He knows Harlem, his people, and the language they use.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“This is a distinctive book, both realistic and brutal, but a novel of extraordinary sensitivity and poetry.” —Chicago Sunday Tribune