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The Cross of Redemption:  Uncollected Writings by James Baldwin (edited by Randall Kenan) has arrived:

Baldwin’s published essays have been already twice collected (The Price of the Ticket and the posthumous Library of America Collected Essays), but there are gems in this collection compiled by Kenan (Let the Dead Bury the Dead): “The Fight: Patterson vs. Liston” is as impeccably crafted as a short story; “Blacks and Jews” captures the speaking Baldwin and echoes the call-and-response tradition. The 54 pieces, none previously appearing in book form, range from Baldwin’s first published book review in 1947 to a 1984 colloquy with college students. Baldwin’s topic can often be subsumed under race, but he most consistently wrestles with questions of moral integrity–in the language (“The Uses of the Blues”), in the artist’s work (“Why I Stopped Hating Shakespeare”), in the assessment of history (“On Being White… and Other Lies”), and in one’s personal life (“To Crush a Serpent”). Kenan’s introduction and headnotes are models of critical good sense; his awareness of both “Baldwin’s achievements that beggar the imagination,” and of the “grab bag” quality of some pieces makes him the perfect shepherd for these “lost” works.  –Publisher’s Weekly

Yet another book I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on!

To read a great interview with Kenan about the book click here.

To purchase the book click here

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