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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
525   James Baldwin  $200 $242 $267 3 You must login to place a bid.

#525 - James Baldwin

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“I have completed, delivered, and intend to produce, at last, my Malcolm X story, ‘—one day, when I was lost’”

ALS signed “Jimmy,” one page, 8.25 x 11.5, December 30, 1971. In full: “This will reach you after the year has begun, and I’m shamefully late with this inadequate note. Just the same, you know that what is fixed can’t change. So you don’t need the note that I love you, and I won’t even wish you a Happy new Year. All years are new, unless, indeed, one apprehends that all Years are old: in any case, all Years are us.

I have completed, delivered, and intend to produce, at last, my Malcolm X story, ‘—one day, when I was lost’—This involves a battle which I may not win, but which I have no remote intention of losing. No doubt, the newspapers will keep you posted as to that. Cross your fingers. No Name in the Street comes out very early in ’72. Will see you, then, hang on. Kiss Sharon, and the monsters.—Keep the faith.” He adds a brief postscript: “P.S. Only work has kept me away so long, and you know who the work is for. And: Arnold Perl is dead.” In fine condition, with overall creases and wrinkling. Accompanied by an unsigned matte-finish photo showing Baldwin in a checkered shirt and sunglasses on the left side of the image, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., giving a speech from a lectern in the center.

In 1968, Baldwin was hired to write a screenplay based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X; working with screenwriter Arnold Perl, who died just a few weeks before this letter was written, the project was never completed. Baldwin did, however, develop his own portion of the screenplay into the book One Day, When I Was Lost, which was published in 1972. Also in 1972, as mentioned in this letter, he published his fourth non-fiction book, No Name in the Street. A collection of essays, the book captures several major historical events from Baldwin’s own perspective, including the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. Letters from Baldwin are quite scarce, especially with such excellent references to his work. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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