Back to top

Goodman South Madison Book Club - discussion of James Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain

Meeting Room 115
Saturday, Nov 20, 1:30pm to 3:00pm

-excerpted from review by Angeli R. Rasbury:

"Go Tell It on the Mountain is considered to be James Baldwin's greatest novel. Like much of Baldwin's writing, it draws heavily on his own intense childhood experiences with religious doubt, racism, sexual ambivalence, and a complex relationship with a difficult father. The entire book takes place on the fourteenth birthday of John Grimes, the son of a fire-and-brimstone revivalist preacher, who finds himself increasingly alienated from his bitter, authoritarian father, his religious faith, and his community...

Go Tell It on the Mountain is filled with biblical references that evoke the spirit of the black church and a realism that brings to life the Harlem of the 1930s, a northern ghetto whose inhabitants were still struggling with southern demons. Baldwin, in a 1984 interview with the Paris Review, captured what he was trying to say in the novel about all of us and about his own life: "[Writing Go Tell It on the Mountain] was an attempt to exorcise something, to find out what happened to my father, what happened to all of us, what had happened to me and how we were to move from one place to another." Its brilliant style and sophisticated portrait of a young man struggling with complex issues made this one of the landmark novels of the postwar period."

Come join the book club for lively thoughtful discussions of our monthly book selection. Everyone is welcome to our public group. Please find our books for the club next to the reference desk or at the circulation desk.

Contact: 
Prudy Stewart