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If Beale Street Could Talk de James Baldwin
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If Beale Street Could Talk (1974 original; edició 2006)

de James Baldwin (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
1,477489,428 (4.11)1 / 92
In this honest and stunning novel, now a major motion picture directed by Barry Jenkins, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin's story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions-affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.… (més)
Membre:AllisonHurd
Títol:If Beale Street Could Talk
Autors:James Baldwin (Autor)
Informació:Vintage (2006), Edition: Reprint, 197 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

If Beale Street Could Talk de James Baldwin (1974)

  1. 00
    An American Marriage de Tayari Jones (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: The American south: A loving African American couple marries and is destined to live a happy life until he is convicted of a crime he could not have committed. The agony of serving the sentence and the wife waiting outside are so heartbreaking but beautifully written. The complexity of human emotions is with you in every word.… (més)
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    Matar un rossinyol de Harper Lee (TheLittlePhrase)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 48 (següent | mostra-les totes)
between 3 and 3.5 stars. it's appalling that the issues that this book, which came out in 1974, addresses have become even more stark and urgent since then. he talks here of racism, but more specifically of police corruption, the profiling of black and brown people, and police abuse and intimidation of black and brown people. more generally i feel like he is telling us that the system doesn't care about black people; that if a black person commits a crime, that any black person can pay for that crime, that black people aren't individuals but are interchangeable in the eyes of the law, justice, and in white society in general.

it's a powerful message. it's a less powerful story, though, which pains me to say. i think he took a risk by telling this story through the eyes of tish, the 19 year old female protagonist. i love that he did that, but i'm not sure he was entirely successful doing it. maybe more than that, this just isn't his best writing. i mean, it's probably unfair to compare this book with his others that i have loved and that are true masterpieces (giovanni's room, go tell it on the mountain, going to meet the man, another country), but it's also impossible not to. those books are certainly stronger, using every possible metric. the writing here is fine, but not spectacular like i'm used to and have come to expect with baldwin.

this is short, but i also feel like it doesn't really get going until we are about 80 pages in, which is too far in a book of this length. i also am not sure that i ever fully felt what i was supposed to between tish and fonny. i kept thinking about how young they were, so maybe that's my own bias. but some of their dialogue also just didn't sit quite right with me, for what i was supposed to think of them. i absolutely loved the way tish's family embraced fonny and his cause, called him their son and brother, both as general support for him and tish, and in response to his own mother's and sisters' lack of love and support for him. i think it's smart, too, that baldwin used rape as the crime he was accused of, that he gave the woman some sympathy and a trauma response in her accusation. that it was less about her pointing the finger, actually, and more about the ways officer bell collared fonny for a crime across town that he couldn't possibly have been at the scene of, and the lineup of no black people except fonny shown to the survivor, so she was specifically made to accuse fonny. he gives us a lot to think about, even though it's not his best work, and he does it with these sharp, pithy sentences sprinkled throughout. many of those instances are times when baldwin seems to break from tish's narration, and speaks to the reader directly. sometimes this was a little awkward, since it didn't fit her voice, but it was always interesting.

there is so much worthy, important stuff in this book, but it is just not in his top tier of fiction.

and all that said, but he does do a lot in a small number of pages. he refutes the stereotype of young black men and black fathers, he describes how the black community stands by its members and how they support one another, he shows how people in this community are faced with terrible, stifling oppression and that they live and love and sometimes survive in spite of it. he rails against the system and the police and the whites who don't see and don't care, while at the same time writing his community with love. i wrote above that i wasn't sure about his writing from tish's perspective, but the more i think about it, the more it works. it's an unusual choice, and one i didn't expect, but it allows us to see not just what being falsely accused and forced to live in prison does to fonny, but also to his family and everyone around him. so we as readers don't just feel the injustice that we would if reading fonny's story in first or third person, but we see the effect of fonny's situation on tish and her parents, her sister, and fonny's father and family. as fonny starts to lose hope, we see how desperate everyone comes to support him and to raise money for him and his defense. we see the effects that mass incarceration has on a community and population.

"He's a man. You can tell by the way he's taken all this shit that he's a man. Sometimes, I admit, I'm scared--because nobody can take the shit they throw on us forever."

"The other places in Harlem are even worse than the projects. You'd never be able to start your new life in those places, you remember them too well, and you'd never want to bring up your baby there. But it's something, when you think about it, how many babies were brought into those places, with rats as big as cats, roaches the size of mice, splinters the size of a man's finger, and somehow survived it. You don't want to think about those who didn't; and, to tell the truth, there's always something very sad in those who did, or do."

on sending brown kids to vocational schools:

"They say the kids are dumb and so they're teaching them to work with their hands. Those kids aren't dumb. But the people who run these schools want to make sure that they don't get smart; they are really teaching the kids to be slaves." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Aug 3, 2021 |
I love how Baldwin picks at all the emotions here as we witness Fonny's and Tish's growth, together and separately. Bahni Turpin's voice for the audio made it all the better, perfectly conveying the dynamism of this heart-wrenching story. I did feel that Tish was infantilized a bit much in parts--something I wasn't quite expecting from Baldwin, but it was published in 1974... ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
No Country for Old Men all over again. A beautiful novel and beautiful film, met in the wrong order for my brain. And it is beauty, even though the subject matters are ugly.
1 vota thenumeraltwo | Jun 9, 2021 |
Content Note: rape, (critical treatment of) racism

Plot:
Tish and Fonny are young and very in love. But then Fonny gets arrested for a crime he didn’t commit and Tish discovers that she is pregnant. Her joy at expecting a baby from the man she loves pushes her even more to prove his innocence. Fortunately she has her family to support her.

If Beale Street Could Talk is a beautifully written novel filled with truths that are mentioned so casually you almost miss how wise this book is. There is a lot of tenderness in the book, but the world’s harshness is ever present, making the book weigh more than it may appear at first. I was very impressed.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2019/03/27/if-beale-street-could-talk-james-baldwin/ ( )
  kalafudra | Feb 26, 2021 |
Fucking hell.
That is some heavy shit. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

In this honest and stunning novel, now a major motion picture directed by Barry Jenkins, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin's story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions-affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.

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