Posts Tagged: James Baldwin

The Rumpus Interview with Melissa Febos

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Melissa Febos discusses Abandon Me, confessional writing, Billie Holiday, reenacting trauma, cataloguing narratives, and searching for identity. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Clarence Major

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Clarence Major discusses his new collection Chicago Heat and Other Stories, the artist's role in politics, Donald Trump and race relations, and Paris in the good old days. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Emily Raboteau

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Emily Raboteau discusses her essay, “Know Your Rights!” from the collection, The Fire This Time, what she loves about motherhood, and why it’s time for White America to get uncomfortable. ...more

On Suffering and Sympathy

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What is the distance between sympathy and action? How do we travel from one to the other? ...more

Color at the Mercy of the Light

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What if I said: while people still believe they are white in America, that delusion, and the dream upon which it is founded, needs to be seriously examined. ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #56: Patricia Engel

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I met one of my favorite writers before she ever published a single story. We were classmates vying for our MFAs in Creative Writing from Florida International University and would smile at each other from across the room. She was shy, but never defensive, in workshop and always strove, really made the effort, to answer questions about her work and decisions on the page as fully as she could.

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The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Jericho Parms

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What is lost still has substance, is malleable, can take on new impressions, and be molded again to our experience, often resulting in the most lasting force that determines how we see the world. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Saleem Haddad

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Saleem Haddad discusses his debut novel Guapa, the Orlando shootings, the importance of queer spaces, and Arab literature. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Brit Bennett

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Brit Bennett discusses her debut novel The Mothers, investigating “what-if” moments, and navigating racism in white spaces. ...more

The Rumpus Interview with Russell Banks

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Russell Banks discusses his new book, Voyager: Travel Writings, why we are never free from our history, and how writing saved his life. ...more

Violent Code

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Poet Safiya Sinclair, author of Cannibal, takes part in the Kenyon Review Conversation series with insight into race in America from a Jamaican’s point of view. Living in a white academic bubble in Charlottesville, VA, immersing herself in slavery-era texts and James Baldwin, she describes how she discovered the ways racism is reduced to the symbolic and coded into language—“hidden in plain sight.” “For example:” she says, “Why is the name ‘killer bee’ interchangeable with ‘Africanized bee’?… coded language makes its way into our vernacular, often shielded under the unimpeachable banner of science.”

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The Rumpus Interview with Yaa Gyasi

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Yaa Gyasi discusses her debut novel Homegoing, growing up in Alabama, the multiplicity of black experiences, the legacy of slavery, and her writing process. ...more

Swinging Modern Sounds #72: Urban Pastoral

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It’s like a landscape that you can’t know until you’ve seen it through four seasons, until you’ve seen it on days gray and bright. ...more
Kamden Hilliard

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Kamden Hilliard

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Survival is not always cute, politically responsible, mature, or sober. Survival is ramshackle, as is tolerance. ...more
Darryl Pinckney

The Saturday Rumpus Interview: Darryl Pinckney

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If your family or your people are looking over your shoulder, change your seat or push them away. Ask them to trust you with the truth. ...more

Baldwin’s Paradoxes and Epithets

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Race was—is—the fundamental American issue, underlying not only all matters of public policy (economic inequality, criminal justice, housing, education) but the very psyche of the nation.

Nathaniel Rich, for the New York Review of Books, writes a loving tribute to and overview of the works of James Baldwin: the intellectual as impossible to be pinned down, writing transcendently about the present.

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Black Memoir

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Memoir, the offspring of the slave narrative, is not simply a form within the Black literary tradition; it has thoroughly shaped that tradition.

With the release of smash hit Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, as well as acclaimed releases Negroland, Twin of Blackness, and Remnants, the black memoir is in a veritable golden age. 

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The Rumpus Interview with Garth Greenwell

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Garth Greenwell discusses his debut novel, What Belongs to You, crossing boundaries, language as defense, and the queer tradition of novel writing that blurs boundaries between fiction and essay and autobiography. ...more

The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Chaitali Sen

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Swati Khurana talks to the author of The Pathless Sky, a love story centered around place, the state’s authority, statelessness, and geology. ...more

I’ll Fly Away: Notes on Economy Class Citizenship

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I want to break from a continued and systematic white supremacy so pervasive it is entrenched in the vernacular I use to express myself. ...more

Anna March’s Reading Mixtape #1: For White Folks Who Think They Aren’t Racist

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The Rumpus Review of [insert] boy by Danez Smith

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In this sense, the book is a “coming-of-age” story and “spiritual quest” as much as a seething commentary on the catastrophe effected by the disease of contemporary racism and white supremacy. ...more

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

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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