Books: In the Castle of My Skin

NOTES OF A NATIVE SON (175 pp.)—James Baldwin—Beacon Press ($2.75).

"You taught me language," says Caliban to Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest, "and my profit on't is, I know how to curse." Between Caliban's curses and nonstop Ariel flights of the liberal imagination, most writing on the Negro problem in America makes highly unprofitable reading, in the view of talented Negro Novelist James (Go Tell It on the Mountain) Baldwin. This sheaf of personal essays, written with bitter clarity and uncommon grace, is an effort to retrieve the Negro from the abstractions of the...

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