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Go Tell It on the Mountain

By: Baldwin, James (1924-1987)

Language: English


This haunting coming-of-age story, based in part on James Baldwin’s childhood in Harlem, is an American classic.

Originally published in 1953, Go Tell It on the Mountain was Baldwin’s first major work. With a potent combination of lyrical compassion and resonant rage, he portrays a fourteen-year-old boy questioning the terms of his identity. John Grimes is the stepson of a fire-breathing and abusive Pentecostal preacher in Harlem during the Depression. The action of this short novel spans a single day in John’s life, and yet manages to encompass on an epic scale his family’s troubled past and his own inchoate longings for the future, set against a shining vision of a city where he both does and does not belong. Baldwin’s story illuminates the racism his characters face as well as the double-edged role religion plays in their lives, both oppressive and inspirational. In prose that mingles gritty vernacular cadences with exalted biblical rhythms, Baldwin’s rendering of his young protagonist’s struggle to invent himself pioneered new possibilities in American language and literature.

Go Tell It on the Mountain
Introduction by Edwidge Danticat
Part of Everyman’s Library Contemporary Classics Series

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Product Details
By:Baldwin, James (1924-1987)
Pages: 280 pp
Publisher:Alfred Knopf, Everyman's Library, NY, London, 2016 c.1953
Dimensions:5.2 x 8.25 inches
Topic:American Fiction Classic - New York - Harlem

More Information

About the Author
JAMES BALDWIN (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, «Go Tell It on the Mountain», appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections «Notes of a Native Son» and «The Fire Next Time» were best sellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Baldwin spent much of his life in France. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

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