Amen Corner

Amen Corner

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Product details

  • Paperback | 128 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552084808
  • 9780552084802

Review Text

The Amen Carner is a much better play than Blues for Mister Charlie, which was Baldwin at his agit-prop worst. Perhaps its superiority is due to the time of composition, right after Baldwin's best novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, with which it has a sibling relation. What we find in Baldwin's early work is an impassioned hurt and poignancy, a lyric openness to his terrible past and the impugned humanity of the Negro, which the headier, later confections like Another Country and the more pamphleteering pages of The Fire Next Time seem to have escalated into a pompous, all-purpose revanchist rhetoric. True, The Amen Corner is old-fashioned, even homey, theatrically speaking: but its central character, the store-front Harlem evangelist, Sister Margaret, a "fiery, fast-talking, little black woman," unexpectedly shattered by the return of a husband she never understood and the disaffection of a son she presumed to understand too well, is a beautiful, moving, and often heart-breaking creation, a figure of real yearnings and consequence rarely placed on the Broadway stage. Unfortunately, The Amen Corner was not a success when it was finally performed here a few seasons ago. Probably the gospel-singing atmosphere, the wonderfully modulated idiomatic speeches, and the genuine sentiments expressed alienated the vogue-hungry New York audiences. The loss is theirs. (Kirkus Reviews)show more