Back Black Writers in Paris, the FBI, and a Lost 1960s Classic: Rediscovering The Man Who Cried I Am


Wednesday, November 8—The expatriate literary scene in Paris that flourished around Richard Wright and James Baldwin produced brilliant writing, intellectual ferment, and bitter rivalries—all of it, and much else from that turbulent time, thrillingly explored in John A. Williams’s explosive 1967 novel, The Man Who Cried I Am, a lost classic newly published in paperback by LOA.

Merve Emre (The Personality Brokers), Adam Bradley (The Anthology of Rap; One Day It’ll All Make Sense), and William Maxwell (F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature) join LOA LIVE to explore this panoramic novel of Black American life in the era of segregation, civil rights, and paranoiac Cold War politics—Bradley enlists it in “the new Black canon”—and what it can tell us about the anxious world Williams moved in and our own politically unsettled moment. LOA president and publisher Max Rudin moderates.

You can listen to the full program, as well as all our past LOA LIVE events, on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

LOA LIVE programs are made possible by contributions from friends like you, and we encourage you to consider making a donation to support future presentations. Visit to donate.

We thank our promotional partner: the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics & Writers.

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From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

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