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Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin (PDF - Online Reading - Download - Summary - Review)

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Go Tell It on the Mountain is a 1953 semi-autobiographical novel by James Baldwin. It tells the story of John Grimes, a bright teenager in 1930s Harlem, and his relationship with his family and his church. The novel also reveals the backstories of John's mother, his biological father, and his violent and fanatically religious stepfather, Gabriel Grimes.
 
The novel focuses on the role of the Pentecostal Church in the lives of African Americans, both as a negative source of repression and moral hypocrisy and as a positive source of inspiration and community. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Go Tell It on the Mountain number 39 on its list of the 100 Best English-language Novels of the 20th Century. Time magazine included the novel in its list of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005.

Summary

With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonant symbolic power, and anger that is both relentless and compassionate, Baldwin recounts discovering the terms of his identity as the stepson of a Pentecostal church pastor of a fourteen-year-old boy in Harlem one Saturday. March 1935. Baldwin's portrayal of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened up new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.

Review

In one of the greatest American classics, Baldwin recounts a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity, saying: “with vivid imagery, with great attention to detail.

About The Author

James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, and educated in New York. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to rave reviews and was immediately recognized as a permanent, profound new voice in American letters.

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Go Tell It on the Mountain