“Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind": First Edition of James Baldwin's If Beale Street Could Talk; Signed by Him

  • If Beale Street Could Talk.
  • If Beale Street Could Talk.

If Beale Street Could Talk.

Item Number: 85233

New York: The Dial Press, 1974.

First edition of Baldwin’s fifth novel, a love story set in Harlem in the early 1970s. Octavo, original cloth. Boldly signed by James Baldwin on the half-title page. Fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket design by Lynn Braswell. Uncommon signed.

Reviewing the novel in The New York Times in 1974, the novelist Joyce Carol Oates described the book as "a moving, painful story" but "ultimately optimistic. It stresses the communal bond between members of an oppressed minority, especially between members of a family," offering "a quite moving and very traditional celebration of love. It affirms not only love between a man and a woman, but love of a type that is dealt with only rarely in contemporary fiction--that between members of a family, which may involve extremes of sacrifice." Basis for the film directed by Barry Jenkins, starring Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Ed Skrein, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina King.