Beacon Press

Beacon Press is an independent publisher of serious non-fiction and fiction. Our books often change the way readers think about fundamental issues; they promote such values as freedom of speech and thought; diversity, religious pluralism, and anti-racism; and respect for diversity in all areas of life. Visit our website at www.beacon.org.
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Beacon Press has always supported a select list of exceptional poets. We’re proud to bring you two books that build on this tradition: a new volume of James Baldwin’s poetry and a book by the inaugural poet Richard Blanco. Read about these upcoming books on our blog.   

Beacon Press has always supported a select list of exceptional poets. We’re proud to bring you two books that build on this tradition: a new volume of James Baldwin’s poetry and a book by the inaugural poet Richard Blanco. Read about these upcoming books on our blog.   

Happy Birthday, James Baldwin!

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. Baldwin’s essay collection Notes of a Native Son (1955) presents a cohesive sketch of black America in the 1940s and 1950s and reveals an intimate portrait of Baldwin’s own search for identity as an artist, as a black man. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people.

No other black writer I’d read was as literary as Baldwin in his early essays, not even Ralph Ellison. There is something wild in the beauty of Baldwin’s sentences and the cool of his tone, something improbable, too, this meeting of Henry James, the Bible, and Harlem.
Happy 88th birthday, James Baldwin. Baldwin (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, and one of America’s foremost writers. His essays explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-twentieth-century America. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people. Notes of a Native Son, his first nonfiction collection of essays, will be re-released on November 20 and will be available in ebook format for the first time!

Happy 88th birthday, James Baldwin. Baldwin (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, and one of America’s foremost writers. His essays explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-twentieth-century America. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people. Notes of a Native Son, his first nonfiction collection of essays, will be re-released on November 20 and will be available in ebook format for the first time!

A first look at the cover for the new edition of James Baldwin’s classic essay collection, Notes of a Native Son, coming out November 2012!