New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1953. First Edition. The author's debut novel, a semi-autobiographical work examining the role of the Pentecostal church in the lives of African Americans, both as a source of repression and inspiration. On a more subtle level, the novel examines racial injustice in the United States, and explores some homosexual themes. The artwork on the advance copies was commissioned by Knopf for the dustjacket, though when Baldwin saw it, he disliked it and insisted they re-design it for the first edition. An uncommon, fragile format of Baldwin's most enduring work. Item #3971
Octavo (20cm); illustrated wrappers; [x],303,pp. Light wear to spine ends and extremities, with a tiny tear to left edge of rear wrapper; very Near Fine, housed in a custom clamshell case.