By Alain Mabanckou
Written at the 20th anniversary of James Baldwin's dying, Letter to Jimmy is African author Alain Mabanckou's ode to his literary hero and an attempt to put Baldwin's existence in context in the higher African diaspora.
Beginning with an opportunity come across with a beggar wandering alongside a Santa Monica beach—a guy whose ragged outfits and unsteady gait remind the writer of a personality out of 1 of James Baldwin's novels— Mabanckou makes use of his personal reports as an African residing within the US as a launching pad to take readers on a desirable journey of James Baldwin's existence. As Mabanckou reads Baldwin's paintings, seems to be at photographs of him over the years, and explores Baldwin's checkered publishing heritage, he's continuously probing for solutions approximately what it should have been like for the younger Baldwin to dwell overseas as an African-American, to jot down obliquely approximately his personal homosexuality, and to find mentors like Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison basically to publicly reject them
As Mabanckou travels to Paris, reads approximately French historical past and engages with modern readers, his letters to Baldwin develop extra intimate and private. He speaks to Baldwin as a peer—a author who lead the way for his personal paintings, and Mabanckou turns out to think, a person who could comprehend his reports as an African expatriate.