James Baldwin: The Legacy

Quincy Troupe, Editor, Mel Watkins, With Simon & Schuster $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-67651-3
Baldwin, mentor to a generation of black artists and writers, is eulogized through essays and interviews as well as speeches delivered at his memorial service. Maya Angelou calls Baldwin her brother, in a time when ``black women had a crying need for brothers.'' Mary McCarthy remembers Baldwin's ``elegance'' and William Styron describes the year that he, grandson of a slave owner, offered the use of his Connecticut studio to Baldwin, grandson of a slave: ``He left a silence that to this day somehow resonates through the house.'' Journalist Mel Watkins introduces a vigorous discussion of Baldwin's craft, evidence of which is amply provided by ``Notes of a Native Son'' and other writings gathered here. The variety of texts is chaotic, but collectively the pieces demonstrate the power and influence of a major literary figure. Troupe, whose interview with his close friend Baldwin is included, won the American Book Award for poetry with Snake-Back Solos. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Hardcover - 270 pages - 978-0-671-67650-6
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