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A beautiful love story between two African-Americans in the middle of a racist context.

James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American writer.

Baldwin’s work fictionalizes fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures. Themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class intertwine to create intricate narratives that run parallel with some of the major political movements toward social change in mid-twentieth century America, such as the civil rights movement and the gay liberation movement. 

Baldwin’s protagonists are often but not exclusively African American, and gay and bisexual men frequently feature prominently in his literature. These characters often face internal and external obstacles in their search for social and self-acceptance.

The book follows a relationship between a 19-year-old girl named Tish, whose given name is Clementine Rivers, and a 22-year-old sculptor named Fonny, whose given name is Alonzo Hunt. They grew up in the same neighbourhood in New York city and are childhood friends. They fall in love and become engaged. But when Tish is 21, Fonny is falsely accused of raping a woman, and arrested and jailed awaiting his trial. Tish learns that she is pregnant after Fonny is incarcerated and must rely on her and Fonny’s family for support. The failures of the criminal justice system keep Fonny incarcerated.

AUTHOR

Louise Dufossé

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