James Baldwin (1924–1987)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch26

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) James Baldwin (1924–1987), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch26

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • James Baldwin (1924–1987) - fiction displaying, destructive qualities of such intolerance;
  • Harlem Renaissance poet, Countee Cullen - early mentor, encouraging Baldwin to apply to the well-known DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx;
  • Baldwin, writing reviews for The Nation and The New Leader - early versions of his novel, rejected by Harper and Doubleday;
  • Wright and Baldwin's relations, being broken - Baldwin's essay “Many Thousands Gone,” directly criticizing Wright's novel for its limited portrayal of black culture and tradition;
  • criticisms of Wright - pointing to Baldwin's intentions in his own fiction;
  • play, The Amen Corner, staged at Howard University in 1955 - on Broadway in 1960, his better-known Blues for Mr. Charlie;
  • his next novel, Another Country (1962) - Baldwin publishing essays, stories, and articles on civil rights issues;
  • Baldwin, working in Hollywood - an aborted screenplay on Malcolm X, participating in dialogues and events;
  • Baldwin's final novel, Just Above My Head (1979) - covering 30 years in the lives of the Montana and Miller families;
  • Jimmy's Blues, a selection of his poems - collection of his non-fiction, 1948 to 1985 as The Price of the Ticket (1985)


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography