"ONE OF THE FINEST AFRICAN AMERICAN WRITERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY": FIRST EDITION OF JAMES BALDWIN'S GOING TO MEET THE MAN
BALDWIN, James. Going to Meet the Man. New York: Dial, 1965. Octavo, original half yellow cloth, yellow top stain, original dust jacket. $450.
First edition of Baldwin's first collection of stories, containing eight short works together in print for the first time, featuring the popular "Sonny's Blues" and three stories published here for the first time, a beautiful copy.
"In 1965, at the height of his fame, Baldwin published his only volume of short stories to date," a collection that makes "substantive contributions to the African American literary canon" (Nelson, African American Autobiographies, 29). Featuring "Sonny's Blues," one of his most popular stories, and four other works serialized in journals such as Commentary and Atlantic Monthly, this volume of eight works, together in print for the first time, also contains three "hitherto unpublished pieces": "The Rockpile," "The Man Child," and Baldwin's very controversial title story, "one of the most brilliant" of his works (Freese in Black American Short Story, 172-3). In that story's depiction of a brutal lynching, Baldwin's "focus on violence is sustained and unapologetically brutal" (Harris, Exorcising Blackness, 192). Baldwin stands as "one of the finest African American writers of the 20th century," and the stories in this volume show him "using the form with variety and incisiveness" (Scofield, Cambridge Introduction to the Short Story, 190). First edition, first printing: with no indication of printings on copyright page. One of three known binding variants, no priority established: black cloth, half yellow cloth (this copy), and yellow paper-covered boards. Book with yellow top stain. Including the story "Previous Condition": "the first Baldwin story to be featured in a major publication, in Commentary in October 1948" (Early Novels and Stories, LOA, 965). Blockson 5371.
Book fine; trace of edge-wear, faint rubbing to near-fine dust jacket.