James Baldwin Artist on Fire: A Portrait by W.J. Weatherby is a 413-page hardcover published in 1989 by Donald I. Fine, Inc. The dust jacket has light wear and discoloration to the edges. Inside, the half-cloth cover is pristine, and the pages are also clean and crisp with no sign of use. The condition is very good.
On December 8, 1987, more than 5,000 mourners turned out at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the edge of his native Harlem to welcome James Arthur Baldwin home for the last time. When he died one week earlier at the age of sixty-three at his home in the south of France, America had lost not only a transcendent novelist, essayist and playwright, but also an important social thinker, a tireless crusader for civil rights and a loyal friend to many--black and white.
In these pages, W.J. Weatherby brings to bear his skills as a journalist and his insights as a friend of Baldwin for nearly thirty years to piece together an illuminating portrait of the artist and the man. Weatherby draws on extensive research materials, including over one hundred first-hand interviews with Baldwin's friends and associates.
Artist on Fire traces the genesis of Baldwin's writings, from the brilliant novels Go Tell It On The Mountain, Giovanni's Room, and Another Country, to the essay collections, including Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time, and the plays, Amen Corner and Blues for Mr. Charlie. It reveals Baldwin's relationships--some fleeting encounters, others life-long attachments; some deep friendships, others complex and at times even antagonistic--with such personages as Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Wright, Robert Kennedy, Otto Friedrich, Norman Mailer, Elia Kazan, Bayard Rustin, Malcolm X, William Styron, Langston Hughes, Eldridge Cleaver, Marlon Brando, Dr. Kenneth Clark, E.L. Doctorow, Tennessee Williams, Sidney Poitier, John Cheever, etc. It chronicles Baldwin's dealings with his literary agents and publishers; it deals candidly with his homosexuality and his drinking and their meaning in his art and life.ISBN: 1-55611-126-6