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Chapter 11 - The Matter of Black Lives: Baldwin Today

from Part 1 - Life and Afterlife

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 July 2019

D. Quentin Miller
Affiliation:
Suffolk University, Massachusetts
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Summary

James Baldwin wrote in longhand. With a pen. On paper. These technologies sustained Baldwin’s voice, life, and legacies. His secretary and biographer David Leeming recalls meeting Baldwin in 1961 at the precise moment he finished his third novel: “[I] found the author sitting at a kitchen counter writing furiously on a yellow pad … I looked over his shoulder as he scribbled the last line of … Another Country.” As a professional writer, Baldwin certainly utilized a typewriter regularly. Beyond photographs where Baldwin can be seen perched behind the machine, posing perhaps more than composing, Leeming’s biography tells of a new typewriter purchased in 1987 “for the use of a hired typist,” and of how Baldwin “took the trouble to type” one of his last journal entries on this machine.

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James Baldwin in Context , pp. 117 - 124
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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