Year of Reading James Baldwin


“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” ~James Baldwin

Broadway Books is featuring the work of James Baldwin throughout 2019, following the lead of the National Book Foundation and its Author in Focus program. We will offer specific programming featuring Baldwin’s work as well as a 20% discount off all James Baldwin titles throughout the year.

The first event to feature Baldwin’s work will be the next Broadway Books Book Club meeting, which will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 on Sunday, April 7th, at the store. We will be discussing two novels about incarceration in America and its impact on marriage: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones and If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin. In addition to discounting all Baldwin books, we will be offering a 20% discount on the paperback edition of An American Marriage between March 2nd and April  6th.

Other Baldwin-related program will include an open-mic night during which people can read aloud their favorite Baldwin passages. As we develop additional Baldwin-related programming for the remainder of the year we welcome ideas from our customers. Our decision to create this Year of James Baldwin was inspired by a session we attended at the Winter Institute, an educational conference for booksellers. The session was hosted by Lisa Lucas of the National Book Foundation, and the panel featured poet Robin Coste Lewis, memoirist Casey Gerald, and bookstore owner Hannah Oliver Depp.

James Baldwin is one of our most acclaimed twentieth-century thinkers, and his writings are as relevant today as they were when they were written, particularly given the state of racial relations in this country. Baldwin is a four-time finalist for the National Book Award, and his writings cross all genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.