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About the Author
James Baldwin (1924-1987) was educated in New York. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, received excellent reviews and was immediately recognized as establishing a profound and permanent new voice in American letters. The appearance of The Fire Next Time in 1963, just as the civil rights movement was exploding across the American South, galvanized the nation and continues to reverberate as perhaps the most prophetic and defining statement ever written of the continuing costs of Americans' refusal to face their own history. It became a national bestseller, and Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time. The next year, he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and collaborated with the photographer Richard Avedon on Nothing Personal, a series of portraits of America intended as a eulogy for the slain Medger Evers. His other collaborations include A Rap on Race with Margaret Mead and A Dialogue with the poet-activist Nikki Giovanni. He also adapted Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X into One Day When I Was Lost. He was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor a year before his death, one honor among many he achieved in his life.
--Paule Marshall, The New York Times Book Review "Daddy Was a Number Runner is not sugar-coated or show. It is truth lived in the vernacular--a Black girl's humor and empathy as she comes to understand Harlem's dreams and tragedies . . . from inside out. Louise Meriwether's voice is the Black feminist novelist's equivalent of the Blues. If you like modern classics by Naylor, Morrison, and Marshall, you will love this. . . . You will not be able to put it down or forget Francie, one of my all-time favorite characters."
--Mary Libertin, Belles Lettres "A tough, tender, bitter novel of a black girl struggling towards womanhood and survival."