"Mountain," Baldwin said, is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else. "Go Tell It on the Mountain," originally published in 1953, is Baldwin's first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery one Saturday in March of 1935of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a Pentecostal storefrontchurch in Harlem. Baldwin's rendering of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle toward self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.
“With vivid imagery, with lavish attention to details, Mr. Baldwin has told his feverish story.” —The New York Times “Brutal, objective and compassionate.” —San Francisco Chronicle “It is written with poetic intensity and great narrative skill.” —Harper’s
“Strong and powerful.” —Commonweal
“A sense of reality and vitality that is truly extraordinary. . . . He knows Harlem, his people, and the language they use.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“This is a distinctive book, both realistic and brutal, but a novel of extraordinary sensitivity and poetry.” —Chicago Sunday Tribune