If Beale Street Could Talk
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If Beale Street Could Talk

4.26 (37,696 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The inspiration for the new film from Oscar award-winning director Barry Jenkins

'Achingly beautiful' Guardian

Harlem, the black soul of New York City, in the era of Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles. The narrator of Baldwin's novel is Tish nineteen, and pregnant. Her lover Fonny, father of her child, is in jail accused of rape. Flashbacks from their love affair are woven into the compelling struggle of two families to win justice for Fonny. To this love story James Baldwin brings a spare and impassioned intensity, charging it with universal resonance and power.

'If Beale Street Could Talk affirms not only love between a man and a woman, but love of a type that is dealt with only rarely in contemporary fiction - that between members of a family' Joyce Carol Oates
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Penguin Modern Classics

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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 179g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0140187979
  • 9780140187977
  • 92,503

Review Text

If Beale Street Could Talk affirms not only love between a man and a woman, but love of a type that is dealt with only rarely in contemporary fiction - that between members of a family Joyce Carol Oates
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Review quote

If Beale Street Could Talk affirms not only love between a man and a woman, but love of a type that is dealt with only rarely in contemporary fiction - that between members of a family -- Joyce Carol Oates Soulful . . . Racial injustice may flatten "the black experience" into one single, fearful, constantly undermined way of life-but black life, black love, is so much larger than that . . . It's one of the signature lessons of Baldwin's work that blackness contains multitudes * Vanity Fair * Truth-telling, witness bearing, soul stirring writing -- Cornel West The spirit of Jimmy's work is of a high moral prophetic vision -- Amriri Baraka One of the few essential novelists of our time * New Statesman *
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About James Baldwin

Born in Harlem in 1924, James Baldwin was a novelist, essayist, play wright, poet, social critic, and the author of more than twenty books. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay col lection The Fire Next Time was a bestseller that made him an influential figure in the civil rights movement. Baldwin spent many years in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in 1987.
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Rating details

37,696 ratings
4.26 out of 5 stars
5 45% (16,863)
4 40% (15,079)
3 13% (4,727)
2 2% (828)
1 1% (199)
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