Go Tell It on the Mountain

Go Tell It on the Mountain: The first novel (1953) of the black US writer James Baldwin (1924-1987). The book has autobiographical undertones, and the climax is the religious conversion of a 14-year-old Harlem boy. At the center of the book are the boy’s troubled relations with his stepfather, a preacher of the storefront Temple of the Fire Baptized. Aspects of the slave era and of life in a dysfunctional family are recounted in flashbacks. The phrase ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain’ appears in the refrain of an African-American spiritual:

‘Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere

Go, tell it on the mountain,

That Jesus Christ is born’”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

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