Literaryswag Book Club's Pick for November: James Baldwin's No Name in the Street
There are many of you, in the book club and beyond, who probably want my head for taking so long with this month's pick. I understand. Besides the fact that my job as a Content and Social Media Director at MakersFinders demands a great deal of time, picking a book that compliments the many subtleties and nuances of our conversations aren't getting easier. Every month the bar is being raised, which is why I felt it's time for the literary god, James Baldwin.
Instead of reaching for a book that captures Baldwin when the world was beginning to love him (or at least his writing—Notes of a Native Son, The Fire Next Time), I wanted to pick a book of essays that documents what happens when the love faltered: "The general reaction to famous people who hold difficult opinions," Baldwin writes in the opening pages, "is that they can't really mean it." It's a sentiment echoed throughout the book. You either die a hero or live long enough to watch yourself become the villain, and since Baldwin was surviving that which many of his contemporaries weren't—Malcolm, JFK, RFK, Edgars, King, The Panthers—he was now being examined, and had to examine himself in ways he hadn't accounted for. This is a book you'll want to read and a conversation you won't want to miss.
Usually we do the last Thursday of every month, but because of the holiday, we will meet the first Thursday of December, 12/1, 7pm at The Brooklyn Circus. As always, it's opened to the public. As always, Martinelli's will be served. And if you buy a pin now, you'll get a free copy of this month's book club pick! Two birds one stone.
I've also added a link to those who may just want the book, for the low.