Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone

Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone

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At the height of his theatrical career, the actor Leo Proudhammer is nearly felled by a heart attack. As he hovers between life and death, Baldwin shows the choices that have made him enviably famous and terrifyingly vulnerable. For between Leo's childhood on the streets of Harlem and his arrival into the intoxicating world of the theater lies a wilderness of desire and loss, shame and rage. An adored older brother vanishes into prison. There are love affairs with a white woman and a younger black man, each of whom will make irresistible claims on Leo's loyalty. And everywhere there is the anguish of being black in a society that at times seems poised on the brink of total racial war. Overpowering in its vitality, extravagant in the intensity of its feeling, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone is a major work of American literature.I would get a beating, and, though Caleb was too old to get a beating, he and my father would have a terrible fight and Caleb would blame it ... have gone to where he was and forced him, by screaming and crying even, to take me home or to take me wherever he was going ... If he was, then, I thought, it served him right; it would serve him right if he caught pneumonia and died; and I dwelt pleasantly on ... I started in the direction of our house only because I did not know what else to do.

Title:Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone
Author:James Baldwin
Publisher:Vintage - 2013-09-17


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