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If Beale Street Could Talk av James Baldwin
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If Beale Street Could Talk (utgåvan 1974)

av James Baldwin (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,396469,731 (4.09)87
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.… (mer)
Medlem:suesbooks
Titel:If Beale Street Could Talk
Författare:James Baldwin (Författare)
Info:Dial Press (1974), Edition: First Edition, 197 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:***1/2
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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If Beale Street Could Talk av James Baldwin

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This is a complicated book to read in our current cultural moment. Baldwin has a specific point to make about power and inequality but doing so through the guise of a rape accusation gets tricky, and it does not translate well at the moment. Further, Baldwin's use of a female protagonist was not convincing to me. This is not the place to start if you've never read Baldwin (Go Tell It on the Mountain showcases his strengths proficiently). ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
If Beale Street Could Talk is sublime. For those who saw the movie, not everything in the novel stays the same, there are some scenes that I assume were cut for time. I thought that the way this ended was pretty perfect though.

This book is told from the POV of 18 year old Tish. She is dealing with the effects of her fiancee Fonny being locked up after he was accused of rape. You think that this would be simple until you read the long winding road that led them to this point.

Tish's voice in this story is strong. Through her we get to see her first look at Fonny when they were kids and when they became something more. You get her frustration with how things are right now. And you get how she loves him. More than that, you get to see how Tish's family loves her. Her mother, father, and sister end up being Fonny's family too.

We also get a look at Fonny's family and his two sisters, mother, and father. There could have been a whole other book about them. Every one that appears in this book is fully developed though. I don't know how long it has been that I read something that I could say well that was great, this person is great, and I can see this person in my head.

Baldwin doesn't tell this story in a linear fashion, but it works. We go from the past (when Tish and Fonny met) her remembering the first time they went to church, and then back in the present with her telling her family that she is pregnant. And then we jump back again to see how happy Tish and Fonny were before they had a night that changed everything. The writing isn't lyrical. It is raw and in your face.

“Tish,” she said, “when we was first brought here, the white man he didn’t give us no preachers to say words over us before we had our babies. And you and Fonny be together right now, married or not, wasn’t for that same damn white man. So, let me tell you what you got to do. You got to think about that baby. You got to hold on to that baby, don’t care what else happens or don’t happen. You got to do that.

“Unbow your head, sister,” she said, and raised her glass and touched mine. “Save the children,” she said, very quietly, and drained her glass.

That baby was our baby, it was on its way, my father’s great hand on my belly held it and warmed it: in spite of all that hung above our heads, that child was promised safety.

“I don’t know,” Frank said, “how God expects a man to act when his son is in trouble. Your God crucified His son and was probably glad to get rid of him, but I ain’t like that. I ain’t hardly going out in the street and kiss the first white cop I see. But I’ll be a very loving motherfucker the day my son walks out of that hellhole, free. I’ll be a loving motherfucker when I hold my son’s head between my hands again, and look into his eyes. Oh! I’ll be full of love, that day!”

The flow of this book was perfect. At times I was smiling, in tears, or full of despair, or hope. Baldwin puts you through the ringer. You want Tish and Fonny to have a different end to their story, but we all know what the end is going to be, what is has to be when you are talking about two black kids in love in the 1970s in America. Heck, have things changed? Baldwin shows you colorism, racism, sexism, police brutality, and one wonders have we come far enough?

The setting of If Beale Street Could Talk is New York in the 1970s. You get to see how hard it was/is for a black man and a black woman at that time.

The ending is left with us waiting for a new life even though we know that the life that Tish wanted is now gone. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
This was a lovely, very tragic story of two young lovers whose lives are ruined by racism. The fact that this book is so relevant today is very upsetting. ( )
  suesbooks | Jun 26, 2020 |
This was my first introduction to James Baldwin, and I was captivated from the first page on. Baldwin's prose is not only stunning, but also feels effortless. If Beale Street Could Talk is unapologetically black in its most pure and brutal form: exploring themes of systematic racism, anti-Blackness and mass incarceration, but also strong familial relationships, empathy and passionate, all-encompassing love. All of this is done in a sober, sometimes harsh way (especially to the white eye), and that's exactly why I love it. There's no beating around the bush - Baldwin tells it how it is, and in the case of Black Americans - especially in the 70s - it isn't pretty. Voices such as Baldwin's are essential in literature, whether his stories serve as a source of relatability or confrontation. ( )
  frtyfour | Jun 16, 2020 |
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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.

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