James Baldwin: The Fire Next Time

(1640 words)

In 1963, Baldwin's words electrified the world as The Fire Next Time ricocheted across the Atlantic and beyond, following the publication of two essays that comprise it in The Progressive and The New Yorker the year before: “My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation” and “Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind”. While the huge sales of this book and its presence on bestseller lists solidified Baldwin's stature as one of the most prominent writers and intellectuals in the United States, its praises and critiques re-cast his reputation in deepened racialized tones. As F.W. Dupee proclaimed in the New York Review of Books, “As a writer of …

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Zaborowska, Magdalena J.. "The Fire Next Time". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=857, accessed 26 September 2016.]