If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In)

If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In)

by James Baldwin

Paperback(Media Tie)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525566120
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/30/2018
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Media Tie
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 455,489
Product dimensions: 5.19(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

James Baldwin was born in 1924 and educated in New York. He is the author of more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Go Tell It on the Mountain; Notes of a Native Son; Giovanni’s Room; Nobody Knows My Name; Another Country; The Fire Next Time; Nothing Personal; Blues for Mister Charlie; Going to Meet the Man; The Amen Corner; Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone; One Day When I Was Lost; If Beale Street Could Talk; The Devil Finds Work; Little Man, Little Man; Just Above My Head; The Evidence of Things Not Seen; Jimmy’s Blues; and The Price of the Ticket. Among the awards he has received are a Eugene F. Saxon Memorial Trust Award, a Rosenwald Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Partisan Review Fellowship, and a Ford Foundation grant. He was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor in 1986. He died in 1987.

Date of Birth:

August 2, 1924

Date of Death:

December 1, 1987

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

St. Paul de Vence, France


DeWitt Clinton High School, New York City

Read an Excerpt

Troubled About My Soul

Excerpted from "If Beale Street Could Talk (Movie Tie-In)"
by .
Copyright © 2018 James Baldwin.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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If Beale Street Could Talk 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
foomy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In summer 1991 I was in Harlem, not knowing I was pregnant with a black man, and this book seemed like a prophecy. It is hard for me to remember my pregnancy without thinking of this book. Sometimes I seems like "Beale Street" was much bigger than my own self. After reading it, I made my decision to write to my parents and make a statement about how I view life, love and racism. It has definitely shaped my preceding years.
AK95 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Baldwin creates in "If Beale Street Could Talk" a harrowing account of a pregnant teenager trying to get her wrongly imprisoned boyfriend out of jail. This book is at times tender (when you get to see the two main characters, Tish and Fonny, interact), it's at times funny, and in other places it can be daunting due to the unchanging lens Mr. Baldwin chooses to use to tell the reader of this terrible time. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to read a high quality piece of fiction written in a first person account.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only other book I'd read by James Balwin was Go Tell it on the Mountain. But it was an assigned reading in middle school, and I couldn't relate nor understand it. But when I read If Beale Street Could Talk, I cannot tell you how much i fell in love with it. It is simply hardbreakingly beautiful. The story is of a young black couple, Tish and Fonny, living in early 1970s Harlem. Told through the eyes of Tish, you see the harshness of the times they live in: the racism, the brutality of prison, the pathetic ways of which our people have been treated. It is heartbreaking because of this, but it is beautiful because it is essentially a love story. There is love all through the pages of this book. Beneath the tough exteriors and troubles of the characters, there is a love so raw and real, it cannot be beaten down by anything. Anything. I love this novel. I love Baldwin's use of "Black English", anything else just wouldn't have been authentic, and the text is lyrical, almost poetry. His style is truth writen on paper, his work is real. You cannot fault that. I was not able to appreciate his work before but I can tell you that this is one of the most moving pieces of literature that I've read in my eighteen years of living. So if you're a bookworm like myself, I deem it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! By the way, I plan on rereading Go Tell It on the Mountain!
Anonymous 17 days ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
As a young African-American woman, I feel that Tish' s story is just as powerful and relevant today as it was in the 1970s. Baldwin is a masterful writer. His words bring the story to life and make it personal for every reader.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
I’m not sure how—or why—this powerful work of narrative beauty escaped me until now, but I’m certainly grateful that Barry Jenkins’ film adaption has rekindled interest in this narrative. Despite some perplexing inconsistencies in narrative point of view, this story of unconditional love blends themes of romance, race, social class, gender, sexuality, and family in ways that only literary masters can manage. Baldwin was undeniably head of his time. In the early 21st century, this story has become familiar enough. Tish, the young, Black first-person narrator, is pregnant with the child of her lifelong love, Fonny, who has been unjustly imprisoned for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman. As Tish and her family band together to free Fonny, institutionalized racism, economic inequality, and social oppression (not to mention members of Fonny’s own family) conspire to keep the young lovers apart. Baldwin’s prose is by turns lyrical, minimalist, imagistic, and brutally violent. He orchestrates his diction with sublime precision; therefore, I must presume that there is some artistic justification for having Tish narrate scenes (such as Fonny’s private conversations with his friend Daniel, Fonny’s experiences in prison, and her mother’s ordeal in Puerto Rico as she attempts to track down the rape victim) that she could not have possibly witnessed. That stylistic quibble aside, I cannot recall another book this brief (fewer than 200 pages) that permeates with such intensity and insight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read it after seeing the film depiction. It’s amazing when a man can so eloquently write the thoughts and feelings of female characters and Baldwin does such a good job with Tish and Sharon. It also reads like a stream of consciousness which makes it hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Enjoyed it tremendously. Wish it was longer.
aangela1010 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
the first Baldwin I've ever read. beautifully written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I chose this book to read for summer reading. It was different from anything I've read before. I thought that this book was bad, but after thinking about it, it isn't. It takes you into the hard life of Tish and makes you realize the difficulties the characters had. It's slow in some places, but overall a pretty good book. I would recomend it to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I resisted reading another problem in the family, however, I immediately related to the highs and lows spirit of the men and womaen of this family issues and values. This book has reminded me of what value and spirit is missing in this so called 'PROGRESSIVE' society, the tenacious spirit that is missing in each of us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was exellent and the characters were like so real. I write on my spare time.It's my #1 hobby and I never had a favorite author who actually inspired me to actually write for a living,but James Baldwin turned that around once my teacher introduced me to his books. And I thought 'HE IS SO TALENTED.' He must be a really fantastic author to write as if he were his charector.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent reading! Always loved Baldwin and this is one of my favorites. Read this in high school, picked it up again as an adult and passed it on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is raw, real, and just right. I read this book in a matter of two days, while attending college and working (guess which one slacked). A must read for everyone...Baldwin is amazing and that is why he is my favorite author of all time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am not a big reader, but this book kept me intrigued the entire time. It was difficult to read at first, but once you get going, the style becomes a part of you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the novel at work and wondered if co-workers could read the emotion in my face. Beale street is a historic place in Memphis, the birthplace of the 'blues.' The title clues us into the theme that love is enduring even when 'we got those blues.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
One thing totally remarkable about James Baldwin is the always underlined notion that 'love conquers all'. This book is the epitome of love against the odds. How many loves are lost in this country due to a system that does not condone its existence? A definite must read. Women will look for Fonnys of their own while men will try to emulate his spirit of passion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A good book to read for recommendation.