Posts Tagged: James Baldwin

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Bill Cosby’s Faux Legacy

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Bill Cosby was never the man, the icon, the protector and illustrator of black culture, the guide, the genius we have created in our minds. ...more

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The Rumpus Interview with Daniel Torday

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Dan Torday talks about his novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West, the role of fear in fiction, the fabrication of facts in a memoir, and about being “constitutionally unoffendable.” ...more

“The Labor of Reconsideration”

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For the Millions, Philip Graham considers how childhood traumas can inspire art. In his exploration, Graham looks to works by John Gardner, Rabih Alameddine, and James Baldwin, authors who confront “psychic wounds” and use writing as a method of healing:

We writers are used to looking back, locating in our rough drafts any glimmer that might show the way forward.

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Vernon Reid Digs James Baldwin

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At Esquire, sci-fi author Jeff VanderMeer and Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid discuss genre fiction, and how one art form can inspire another. Reid says:

Fiction has always evoked pictures and provoked ideas and sounds in my mind. James Baldwin, who was a powerful writer of fiction and non-fiction was a haunted witness of American dysfunction.

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The FBI’s James Baldwin Obsession

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Writing for Publishers Weekly, William J. Maxwell examines the 1,884-page FBI file on James Baldwin—the longest on record—as part of his effort to obtain surveillance information on African American authors through the Freedom of Information Act. Along with reports on literary giants like Lorraine Hansberry and Amiri Baraka, Baldwin’s file reveals a complex relationship between Hoover’s office and the authors, characterized by intermittent respect for the literary work and a healthy fear of the writers’ standing as leaders of the black community.

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A Super Bowl Preview for People Who Don’t Know Football (2015 Edition)

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Like an all-night rager in the apartment upstairs or a crying infant on a red-eye, the Super Bowl is one of those ineluctable public occurrences that’s seemingly impossible to stop and difficult to ignore. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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Some story collections drop with fireworks and great fanfare, while others make their entrance, it could be said, on tender feet. The latter is the case with the works of Edith Pearlman, who released her fifth story collection, Honeydew, on Tuesday.

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Turning to Baldwin During Tragedy

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Art has to be a confession. I don’t mean a true confession in the sense of that dreary magazine. The effort, it seems to me, is: if you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover, too, the terms with which they are connected to other people.

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The Big Idea #10: Eula Biss

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On Immunity author Eula Biss speaks to Suzanne Koven about mythology, personal freedom, and the history of vaccines. ...more

The Devil Finds Work

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Combining The Exorcist, New Jersey, and James Baldwin, among other things, Nick Ripatrazone reviews William Giraldi’s new novel, Hold the Dark, at The Millions. He contemplates Giraldi’s place in contemporary Catholic literature, using his fiction, alongside Cormac McCarthy’s and Christopher Beha’s, to draw larger claims on religion, the manifestations of Satan, and realism.

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“Let America be America Again”

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In an interview with The New Yorker, Graywolf poet Claudia Rankine discusses Ferguson, James Baldwin, and the experience of invisibility:

“[T]he sort of execution-style shooting takes [Michael Brown’s shooting] to this whole other place that starts approaching the language of lynching, and public lynching, and bodies in the street that people are walking around.”

To review the events in Ferguson, see The Rumpus roundup.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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The news of Michael Brown’s death cannot be ignored. When one of our young people dies from shots fired by a police officer, there will be sadness and confusion. There will inevitably be questions, and questions left unanswered will lead to anger. 

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The Partisan Review, Digitized

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The Partisan Review, printed from 1934 to 2004, marked 69 years of cultural history in the US, with notable contributors such as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Allen Ginsberg, Franz Kafka, Doris Lessing, George Orwell, Marge Piercy, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Shattuck, Susan Sontag, William Styron, Lionel Trilling, and Robert Penn Warren.

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Happy Birthday, James Baldwin!

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Happy birthday to James Baldwin, who would have been 89 today.

A pioneering author of fiction, essays, plays, and poetry, Baldwin explored what it meant to be black and gay long before such themes became acceptable to the mainstream.

He left behind a legacy of bravery and political activism, as well as classic works like Go Tell It on the Mountain and Giovanni’s Room.

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