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Conversations with Amiri Baraka

Reilly, Charlie (ed.)

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ISBN 10: 0878056874 / ISBN 13: 9780878056873
Published by Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994, 1994
Used Condition: Near Fine Soft cover
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About this Item

8vo, card covers, xvii, 271pp., frontis. First edition, first printing. A Near Fine copy: clean, bright, sound, unread. Bookseller Inventory # ATLCRCAB94

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Conversations with Amiri Baraka

Publisher: Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


This collection of interviews with Amiri Baraka, the former LeRoi Jones and a key figure in the worldwide black liberation movement, provides an extraordinary insight not only into African American literature but also into the turmoil and passions of the "black experience" during the second half of the twentieth century.

As they offer an understanding of the political turbulence of his times, these interviews provide special insights into Baraka's works, his anger, and his career. Not only does Baraka criticize and explain his most celebrated works, but also his comments supply a rich context for understanding the African American experience.

Throughout these candid conversations Baraka maintains his belief in the firm alliance of art and social criticism. "To me, social commentary and art cannot be divorced. Art and life are the same: art comes out of life, art is a reflection of life, art is life."

Here is a collection that contains nearly all of the major interviews this poet, playwright, fiction writer, essayist, and social activist has given in his long and controversial career. Four of them have not been previously published. Included here are interviews conducted by Maya Angelou, Austen Clarke, and David Frost, as well as a new interview Baraka granted the editor of this volume.

From Booklist:

In the latest volume of the Literary Conversations series, interviewers engage in the act of deciphering the "true" identity of Amiri Baraka, formerly known as LeRoi Jones, at least as much as attempting to understand his work. Thankfully, Baraka does not hesitate to set the record straight on any number of misconceptions that have appeared in print over the years. The thoughtful, impassioned, and provocative voice of this writer comes to the fore in these interviews, and particularly in two recent conversations, with editor Reilly and Maya Angelou. It is in Angelou's interview, which includes a discussion of Baraka's movement from poetry to plays, where he defines himself as "some kind of insurgent force." Perhaps this book will help secure Baraka's place, more than any other African American writer, as the one who insistently and penetratingly reflected on conditions of racism in America while creating a profound body of work that recorded contemporary African American culture and experience. Alice Joyce

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