The Amen Corner

The Amen Corner

by James Baldwin

Paperback(New Edition)

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Only a boy preacher who had grown up to become one of America's most eminent writers could have produced a play like The Amen Corner. For to his first work for the theater James Baldwin brought all the fervor and majestic rhetoric of the storefront churches of his childhood along with an unwavering awareness of the price those churches exacted from their worshipers.

For years Sister Margaret Alexander has moved her Harlem congregation with a mixture of personal charisma and ferocious piety. But when Margaret's estranged husband, a scapegrace jazz musician, comes home to die, she is in danger of losing both her standing in the church and the son she has tried to keep on the godly path.

The Amen Corner is a play about faith and family, about the gulf between black men and black women and black fathers and black sons. It is a scalding, uplifting, sorrowful and exultant masterpiece of the modern American theater.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780573619755
Publisher: Samuel French, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/29/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 102
Sales rank: 337,675
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.21(d)

About the Author

James Baldwin was born in 1924 and educated in New York. Between 1953 and 1987, Baldwin wrote over twenty books of fiction and non-fiction. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Grant, among other accolades, Baldwin was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor in 1986. He died one year later.

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

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"He is thought-provoking, tantalizing, irritating, abusing and amusing. And he uses words as the sea uses waves." —Langston Hughes

"What style! What intensity! What religious feeling!....The man has mastered his rage and bitterness. He's a marvel!" —John Cheever

John Cheever

"What style! What intensity! What religious feeling!...The man has mastered his rage and bitterness. He's a marvel!"

As Kavin

"To be James Baldwin is to touch on so many places in Europe, America, the Negro, the White man -- to be forced to understand so much."

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The Amen Corner 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is actually the first thing I've read by Baldwin which I haven't fallen in love with---that may have clouded my final reaction, I have to admit, since I always have high expectations when I open a book with Baldwin's name on it. Here, I think I was most frustrated by the story---I was engaged and interested in the story, but I missed the interiority that usually comes with Baldwin's works. His simple language, that works so elegantly in novels and in essays, just wasn't enough to tell a full story here. Simply, I wanted more, and in the first act particularly I got tired with what nearly seemed repetitive. For readers interested in Baldwin's working with religion, this is absolutely a must read, and it works additionally with his oft-returned-to theme of struggling or rebelling musicians, but otherwise, I'm afraid it may be a disappointment to readers familiar with Baldwin's work. As an aside, though, I do think this has the potential to be absolutely magnificent on stage---I'm just not sure that it doesn't need a talented cast to make it shine otherwise.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Amen Corner ia an excellent book that tells what happens when you put the sacred world vs. the secular world. The main plot of this story is to tell the audience that too much of either world is a problem and that both of them can be rewarding if you know how to handle yourself in them. It is a great book and if you are interested in music, you will be right at home with it. Highly recommended.