James Baldwin Bookclub Kit

Celebrate 100 years of James Baldwin, the literary legend and civil rights champion with four of his principal works: Go Tell It on The Mountain, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Fire Next Time, and Giovanni’s Room.

James Baldwin, an iconic writer and activist, explored the complexities of race, identity, love, and class with searing insight. Join us as we commemerate 100 years of Baldwin–one of the most important writers of the 20th century. 


GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN: Gaining power from its nuanced portrait of Black life and spirituality, James Baldwin’s deeply perceptive debut novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, is a compelling story of a young boy’s coming of age that established Baldwin as one of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK: James Baldwin’s 1974 novel is a harrowing tale of a young woman’s fight for justice. Forced to live with the consequences of a horrible crime, Tish’s and Fonny’s families will race against time to free the man they love for the arrival of his child. Equally a story of young love, of deep despair and small triumphs, and a searing indictment of a criminal justice system that will stop at nothing to tear this family apart.

THE FIRE NEXT TIME: James Baldwin’s 1963 book of essays The Fire Next Time remains a touchstone in American literature. Comprising two “letters,” The Fire Next Time offers both an intimate portrayal of Black American life and a fiery commentary on race in America that is just as resonant today as it was when it first emerged more than half a century ago.

GIOVANNI’S ROOM: Heralded as a masterpiece and widely regarded as a touchstone of queer literature, James Baldwin’s 1956 novel Giovanni’s Room tells the story of a young American man’s poignant love affair in 1950s Paris. Addressing questions of sexuality, morality, and nationality with an unflinching gaze and a sharp pen, Baldwin crafts an achingly honest tale of love, death, and desire that is raw, emotional, and absolutely unforgettable.

The questions featured in the kit are designed to enrich your discussion of James Baldwin’s unforgettable works.  To download the PDF of the book club kit, click here and further your James Baldwin reading at JamesBaldwinBooks.com