Baldwin centennial sparks literary revival

In honour of James Baldwin’s upcoming 100th birthday, a literary renaissance is brewing, per Publishers are releasing commemorative editions and institutions are planning programmes to celebrate the iconic author and civil rights activist.

Beacon Press is launching the James Baldwin Centennial Series, reissuing sections of his influential 1955 essay collection “Notes of a Native Son” as individual volumes. Vintage Books will release special editions of Baldwin’s novels featuring new introductions by esteemed authors. Penguin Classics will reissue Baldwin’s works in the UK and make his novels and essays available in audio for the first time.

Literary institutions across the US are also planning tributes throughout 2024. The Bronx-based Literary Freedom Project has dedicated its entire year to Baldwin, while universities and libraries are hosting talks, readings and events exploring his legacy. 

This renewed interest in Baldwin’s work promises to introduce his timeless writing to a new generation of readers.


  • Featured image: Beacon’s reissue of the second section of ‘Notes of a Native Son’ (l.) and Vintage’s deluxe edition of ‘Giovanni’s Room’ (r.)


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