The Critical Reception of James Baldwin, 1963-2010
An Honest Man and a Good Writer
For more than half a century, readers and critics alike have agreed that Baldwin is a major African American writer. What they do not agree on is why. Because of his artistic and intellectual complexity, his work resists easy categorization, and Baldwin scholarship, consequently, spans the critical horizon. Conseula Francis's book examines the major divisions in Baldwin criticism, paying particular attention to theway each critical period defines Baldwin and his work for its own purposes.
Conseula Francis is Professor of English and Associate Provost for Curriculum and Institutional Resources at the College of Charleston.
Judging James Baldwin: 1963-73
Canonizing James Baldwin: 1974-87
Retheorizing James Baldwin: 1988-2000
The Critical Reception of "Sonny's Blues"
James Baldwin and the Popular Reviews
Baldwin Studies Now
List of Works by James Baldwin
"As its title reveals, this well-researched and engagingly written study is a biography of Baldwin's critical reception [that] provides a thorough, smartly contextualized overview of the various ways Baldwin's wide-ranging oeuvre has been received, both during his lifetime and after. . . . Her survey of Baldwin criticism and reasons for his popularity are instructive for anyone who teaches or reads Baldwin. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers." CHOICE
"[This book] analyzes the trajectory of Baldwin's critical reception and rigorously positions the debates revolving his writings in their historical contexts. Due to the complexity of Baldwin's oeuvre . . . Francis's project becomes a microhistory of trends in literary theory and criticism since the 1960s, scrupulously registering the emergence of black, gender, and queer studies. . . . [S]cholars of many academic disciplines will find [Francis's book] useful and engaging." POLISH JOURNAL OF AMERICAN STUDIES
"[N]ot only a superb overview on Baldwin criticism, but also a comprehensive study of the vastness and depth of Baldwin's literary legacy. . . . [I]nspires both the newcomer and the established reader to engage with Baldwin . . . ." AMERIKASTUDIEN
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