Skip content
Get two free audiobooks AND support local bookstores Make the switch
Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
  Send as gift   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account
Phone showing make the switch message

Limited-time offer

Get two free audiobooks when you make the switch!

Now’s a great time to shop indie. When you start a new membership supporting local bookstores with promo code SWITCH, we’ll give you two bonus audiobook credits at sign-up.

Make the switch
Libro.fm app with gift bow

Gift audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.

Start gifting

Notes of a Native Son

$15.26

Retail price: $16.95

Discount: 9%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Ron Butler

This audiobook uses AI narration.

We’re taking steps to make sure AI narration is transparent.

Learn more
Length 5 hours 3 minutes
Language English
  Send as gift   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

At last, a new audio edition of the book many have called James Baldwin's most influential work!

Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained strength through the words of one of the most captivating essayists and foremost intellectuals of that era. Writing as an artist, activist, and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. With a keen eye, he examines everything from the significance of the protest novel to the motives and circumstances of the many black expatriates of the time, from his home in "The Harlem Ghetto" to a sobering "Journey to Atlanta."

Notes of a Native Son inaugurated Baldwin as one of the leading interpreters of the dramatic social changes erupting in the United States in the twentieth century, and many of his observations have proven almost prophetic. His criticism on topics such as the paternalism of white progressives or on his own friend Richard Wright's work is pointed and unabashed. He was also one of the few writing on race at the time who addressed the issue with a powerful mixture of outrage at the gross physical and political violence against black citizens and measured understanding of their oppressors, which helped awaken a white audience to the injustices under their noses. Naturally, this combination of brazen criticism and unconventional empathy for white readers won Baldwin as much condemnation as praise.

Notes is the book that established Baldwin's voice as a social critic, and it remains one of his most admired works. The essays collected here create a cohesive sketch of black America and reveal an intimate portrait of Baldwin's own search for identity as an artist, as a black man, and as an American.

James Baldwin (1924–1987) is the author of more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Go Tell It on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son, Another Country, and Blues for Mister Charlie. He received many awards and was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor in 1986.

Ron Butler is an actor, Earphones Award–winning narrator, and voice artist with over a hundred film and television credits. He works regularly as a commercial and animation voice-over artist and has voiced a wide variety of audiobooks. He won the Independent Filmmaker Project Award for his work in the HBO film Everyday People.

Phone showing make the switch message

Limited-time offer

Get two free audiobooks when you make the switch!

Now’s a great time to shop indie. When you start a new membership supporting local bookstores with promo code SWITCH, we’ll give you two bonus audiobook credits at sign-up.

Make the switch
Libro.fm app with gift bow

Gift audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.

Start gifting

Reviews

“He named for me the things you feel but couldn’t utter…articulated for the first time to white America what it meant to be American and a black American at the same time.”

“A straight-from-the-shoulder writer, writing about the troubled problems of this troubled earth with an illuminating intensity.”

“I owe a tremendous debt to the example of his work.”

“Baldwin’s vision, his humor, his tragically beautiful style, make this a book [to]…turn to for a long time.”

“The collected ‘pieces’ of the author of Go Tell It on the Mountain form a compelling unit as he applies the high drama of poetry and sociology to a penetrating analysis of the Negro experience on the American and European scene…The expression of so many insights enriches rather than clarifies, and behind every page stalks a man, an everyman, seeking his identity…and ours. Exceptional writing.”

Expand reviews
Get two free audiobooks AND support local bookstores Make the switch