James Baldwin once said, “It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” I came upon this quote by James Baldwin after I had read 4 of his novels. When I read this, I began to understand why I have such an intense love for literature. While I was reading Another Country, I began to see my connection with my true identity.
The book made me come to terms, for the first time in my life, with the love and hate I had for myself as a person who is “different.” I empathized with his characters trying to find their identity in a country full of limitations, but regardless of these limitations, it was those different qualities, considered different (race, sexual orientation, and gender) in my self that made me special. When we are isolated from society for being different we often feel like we are living in Another Country: an island onto ourselves. This book made me realize that there is indeed another country, one filled with so many different people like myself, and that I belonged to a beautiful country filled with many unique and extraordinary people.
“From the Archive: Five Pieces by James Baldwin,” the Nation
The Paris Review interviews James Baldwin
“Trapped Inside James Baldwin,” The New York Times Book Review
Little kind of wonderful piece on Baldwin, the New Yorker
“The Henry James of Harlem: James Baldwin’s Struggles,” Colm Tóibín, the Guardian
“I’ll have another drink then.” Interview, Julius Lester, the New York Times
“The doomed idea of what it means to be white.” James Baldwin interviewed by Henry Lyman