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Golden Hour Books

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin

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From one of the most important writers of the twentieth century comes a stunning love story about a young Black woman whose life is torn apart when her lover is wrongly accused of a crime—"a moving, painful story, so vividly human and so obviously based on reality that it strikes us as timeless" (The New York Times Book Review).

"One of the best books Baldwin has ever written—perhaps the best of all." —The Philadelphia Inquirer

Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions—affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.If Beale Street could talk, it might tell the following story: Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, is in love with Fonny, a sculptor. She is pregnant by him, and they have pledged to get married. But he is falsely accused of raping a Puerto Rican woman and sent to prison. Both families set out to find evidence that will set him free, a search that takes them throughout New York and San Juan. And while they search, Tish and Fonny can only wait, all the time with love, with hatred, with despair, with courage, with hope.

James Baldwin lets us see this story through Tish's eyes and hear it through Tish's voice. It is a story evocative of the blues, a combination of the sweet and the sad; it will make you cry, but you will feel its passion and its hope. IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK contains anger and pain; but it is first of all a love story, free of polemics, and in Tish and Fonny, Baldwin has given us two characters so alive and so profoundly realized that you will come to love them as deeply as they love each other.

"If Van Gogh was our 19th-century artist-saint, James Baldwin is our 20th-century one." --Michael Ondaatje

"An elemental love story that is all the more powerful for its simpicity....It is a book as intensely written as it is intensely felt." --Charlotte News

"One of the best books Baldwin has ever written--perhaps the best of all." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Striking and particularly haunting....A beauty, especially in its rendering of youthful passion." --Cosmopolitan

"A beautiful tale by one of our most talented writers." --The Providence Journal

"Compelling....A remarkable richness of texture and striking characterization." --The Baltimore Sun

JAMES BALDWIN was born in 1924 and educated in New York. He is the author of more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Go Tell It on the MountainNotes of a Native SonGiovanni’s RoomNobody Knows My NameAnother CountryThe Fire Next TimeNothing PersonalBlues for Mister CharlieGoing to Meet the ManThe Amen CornerTell Me How Long the Train’s Been GoneOne Day When I Was LostIf Beale Street Could TalkThe Devil Finds WorkLittle ManLittle Man; Just Above My HeadThe Evidence of Things Not SeenJimmy’s Blues; and The Price of the Ticket. Among the awards he has received are a Eugene F. Saxon Memorial Trust Award, a Rosenwald Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Partisan Review Fellowship, and a Ford Foundation grant. He was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor in 1986. He died in 1987.

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