Books: Bearing Witness to the Truth James Baldwin: 1924-1987

Late at night in Paris -- and it was almost always late at night in Jimmy Baldwin's Paris -- he would occasionally take out a ball-point pen and start drawing a large rectangle on what was left of a beer-stained paper tablecloth. Inside the rectangle he would slowly write, sometimes with a faint smile on his lips, a series of incantatory words:

Go Tell It on the Mountain

A novel

By James Baldwin

That was the dream that enabled him to survive the bleak and penniless early years in Paris, the dream that the chaos of manuscripts he had piled up...

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