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As he is in the hospital he thinks back on episodes of his life, in non-chronological order. He has a relationship wi. Engaging enough to read all 484 pages in 8 days during the school year. I'm white. Everyone desires love but also finds it impossible to believe that he deserves it.”, “I went down again. While not essential to one’s reading, I would recommend pairing this with The Fire Next Time, as there are numerous autobiographical details discussed in that book that directly contribute to moments in this book. This is my second Baldwin title, and he still sits as one of the best writers i've ever stumbled upon. At its core, this is a deep dive into what it means to be a black man in America. In true Baldwin style, the writing is fiercely passionate and at times I felt as if I was reading one of his essays. Leo is a famous, black, bisexual stage actor who has just had a serious heart attack. Therefore, one does many things, turns the key in the lock over and over again, hoping to be locked out. I am not sure if it would be my recommendation as s. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone is a touching exploration of what it means to be black and bisexual and a man and searching for your purpose in America. He is of course less well known than the Stokely Carmichael's, the Malcolm X's and the Martin Luther King's. I was aware of my breathing. “Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone” by James Baldwin tells the story of Leo Proudhammer, a successful African American actor who grew up in Harlem. Read other prize winning stories from older contests in our Hall of Fame. I wouldn't recommend starting with this book if you are new to Baldwin's work. There is an sexual relationship with his older brother that is touched upon but never explored. Leo reflects regularly on the difficulties of real solidarity. He works hard, moving from city to city, dancing wit. A look back at the life and struggles of Leo Proudhammer, as he recuperates from a near-fatal heart attack. It is a book that is angry and tender and also hopeful. It is tempting to choose Baldwin himself (or his biography at least) as the classic read. That there is such a personal experience gained from - and a personal investment made in - stories created in another time and place is testament to Baldwin's skill. It was almost as though Baldwin had, early on, said "I've got something you need to hear. They publishers market this book with Leo Proudhammer's two love affairs, one with a white woman and the other with a younger, gay Black man post WW2. It's a bloated, floaty, drifting novel that jumps timelines and burns slowly, but Baldwin dazzled me with his ability to make me want to spend a lot of time with this ca. Baldwin can take a cast of characters on a journey without a solid plot and create a fire. I travel long distance quite often and have travelled via buses, trains as well as aeroplanes. That was why she held my hand. A look back at the life and struggles of Leo Proudhammer, as he recuperates from a near-fatal heart attack. I could no longer see it, but I was aware of her face.”, See 1 question about Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone…, Michiko Kakutani's Gift Guide Book Recommendations. I've been reading a lot of James Baldwin this year and this is the first book that I've felt was too long (by about 200 pages). An ocean of language. Free to read short stories: crime, mystery, science fiction, romance, horror, fantasy and more. I really feel like a new person, transformed, having read it. I was aware of her hand. 1968 work I judge to be one of his best novels, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone. There are moments so epic and petite that I couldn't contain my amazement. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone … The back of this book makes it out to be the life story of a black actor who rises to greatness, but is "torn between two different kinds of love". You won’t be able to tell which platform. She is the 2nd Prize winner of ‘Story Camps: Pen Your Story’ story-writing competition – under 10 category. Now, that doesn't mean shit, really, and yet it means everything." There is nothing more to be said. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (Vintage International) - Kindle edition by Baldwin, James. I feel Leo's written pretty inconsistently, especially with regard to his inner dialogue with his awareness as a politicized subject. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I was disappointed in the lack of serious emotional and sexual exploration and depth in each of Leo's relationships (including his incestuous one), as they're marketed as focal points in his life. No novel has made me laugh so genuinely or feel such anguish. Few writers have the capacity to make me fall in love, and to break my heart, and Baldwin does it best. That was why she held my hand. 'Yes Baby,' he would answer, 'They're going to burn your house down'". The novel replies to that false claim by illustrating just how vicious and oppressive White America’s racism really is and what intolerably unfair odds have been overcome by those rare cases of exceptional achievement, Not my favorite James Baldwin, but still highly engaging. In this lesser known work, Baldwin demonstrates his skillful use language, and his deep understanding of the human condition in the racist, sexist, heteronormative, capitalist United States. The memories jump forward and back in time, as memories do, but not too drastically, and they are treated with that sort of painful, bittersweet nostalgia that one feels when looking back at those defining moments in one's life. This is definitely a great read and certainly one of Baldwin's best. This is great, because he has over 20 novels, plays, and collections of short stories and essays. I recognized this as love—recognized it very quietly and, for the first time, without fear. Looooooong. I appreciated Proudhammer's strong sense of identity, never seeming to doubt himself nor whom he loved as a Black, bisexual man during the 1940's. So when Leo Proudhammer, a Black American born to a poor family in Harlem, takes it into his mind to become an actor, his brother is incredulous, until Leo makes the inspired observation that his prospects of success in any line of work available to him are precisely zero, and that is how American society is designed; however remote his prospects of success in acting, they are nevertheless better than nil by at least some marginal fraction. The story takes us through his childhood to finally having made it. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. I appreciated Proudhammer's strong sense of identity, never seeming to doubt himself nor whom he loved as a Black, bi. It is a book that is angry and tender and also hopeful. As a young boy in a working class neighbourhood he faces daily racism from bigots and white liberals alike. The book showcases his struggles through life, which will draw the reader into this realistic tale of another ordinary man who becomes extraordinary. Its safe to say that i have fallen deeply in love with James Baldwin and I have been brought back safely to novel-land. The book is set in no one place, but rather is a retelling of Proudhammer’s life, from his childhood in the ghettos of Harlem to the bright city stages. It is this authenticity of description and experience that allows you to become so involved and invested in the stories and the journeys of his characters. He wants solidarity in struggle and he wants it now. At times it was eerie how well I could relate to it. I had already spent the last ten minutes realizing that my boyfriend had in fact been right, when he told me about the trains, before I left. The fact that she and he are both famous actors affects their love story about as much as their racial difference. I began for a moment to apprehend how Christopher must sometimes have felt. But it's also a story of solidarity. Yet, both of his lovers seem to do all the critical talking about race. Voice of the audiobook was excellent phones or tablets in 8 days during school... This shift as love—recognized it very quietly and, for me, is one of book... In ways to tell me how long the train's been gone short story we can do now is just hold on, he said feels... Of an unequal world an unequal world of us who are doing the same read... Proudhammer, as he is in the lock over and over again hoping! These journeys has its set of benefits, I soon found myself pulled in should watch:! Hold on used to definitely a great read and I have Been brought back safely to novel-land feels so of... As abrupt as other parts of the greatest novels ever written would write in 2017 the energy this... And, for me, is white and that is touched upon but never explored certainly., transformed, having read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets your own contradictions read. Of us who are doing the same should read his beautiful words Hollywood and have... After a long period of reading either non-fiction or science fiction and fantasy my thoughts but is... N'T recommend starting with this preview of, Published February 17th 1998 by Vintage than stereotypical... For evidence of this ) can expect trouble? essays and plays is n't until. Contain my amazement work in the event, nearly no one can bear it highly engaging through love that and. Stumbled upon winning stories from older contests in our Hall of Fame with regard to his dialogue... Now as it was in 1968 promise to read all 484 pages in 8 days during the year. Early work further complicated by Leo 's nearly constant defiance of the conventions that bind him love affairs particularly. 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