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Publisher's Summary

"There's no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it." 
The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their heads above water. It may be the heroin that a down-and-out jazz pianist uses to face the terror of pouring his life into an inanimate instrument. It may be the brittle piety of a father who can never forgive his son for his illegitimacy. Or it may be the screen of bigotry that a redneck deputy has raised to blunt the awful childhood memory of the day his parents took him to watch a black man being murdered by a gleeful mob.
©1957, 1958, 1960, 1965 James Baldwin (P)2012 AudioGO
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Rebecca on 05-08-17

Punch in the gut

I gave this book four stars only because it is difficult in these compilations to tell when one story ends and another begins. Still, the inspiration gets are amazing and disturbing. The last short story is a powerful portrayal of a lynching party. That one in particular will bother me for a while.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Horror Reader on 12-30-17

A Master

Several excellent stories, particularly “Sonny’s Blues” and “Going to Meet the Man.” These are real stories reflective of moral ambiguity and human complexity. Brilliant. No pat reassurances. Baldwin seeks truth, not platitudes.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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