James Baldwin Biography | Author of Notes of a Native Son

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James Baldwin was born in Harlem in New York City on August 2, 1924. In his "Autobiographical Notes" in Notes of a Native Son, Baldwin refers to his mother, Emma Berdis Jones, as "given to the exasperating and mysterious habit of having babies," for whom Baldwin, as the oldest child, was often called upon to be their main caretaker. Baldwin critiques his role as babysitter, stating that his siblings "probably suffered" due to the fact that he cared for them with "one hand and held a book with the other." Baldwin's stepfather, David, was a preacher and encouraged Baldwin to read the Bible, the one book that, for a long time in his youth, Baldwin refused to read. Instead, he read books like Uncle Tom's Cabin and A Tale of Two Cities, books whose style he tried to imitate in his own early attempts at writing, one of which won...

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This section contains 531 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Notes of a Native Son from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.