James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time was one of the essential books of the sixties and one of the most galvanizing statements of the American civil rights movement. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, with a new generation confronting what Baldwin called a 'racial nightmare', acclaimed writer Randall Kenan asks: How far have we come? Combining elements of memoir and commentary, this homage is a piercing consideration of the times, and an impassioned call to transcend them.
Randall Kenan is the author of several books including the biography James Baldwin: American Writer and Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the 21st Century. His work has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the John Dos Passos Award, the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and numerous other prizes. He teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.