With contributions from major scholars of African American literature, history, and cultural studies, A Historical Guide to James Baldwin focuses on the four tumultous decades that defined the great author's life and art. Providing a comprehensive examination of Baldwin's varied body of work that includes short stories, novels, and polemical essays, this collection reflects the major events that left an indelible imprint on the iconic writer: civil rights, black nationalism and the struggle for gay rights in the pre- and post-Stonewall eras. The essays will also highlight Baldwin's under-studied role as a trans-Atlantic writer, his lifelong struggle with faith, and his use of music, especially the blues, as a key to unlock the mysteries of his identity as an exile, an artist, and a black American in a racially hostile era.

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