• Me and My House: James Baldwin's Last Decade in France

    Pages: 408
    Illustrations: 104 illustrations, incl. 24 in color
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $104.95 - Not In Stock
  • Paperback: $28.95 - Not In Stock
  • Abbreviations  ix
    Acknowledgments  xi
    Introduction. If I Am a Part of the American House, and I Am: Vitrines, Fragments, Reassembled Remnants  1
    1. Foundations, Facades, and Faces: Through the Glass Blackly, or Domesticating Claustrophobic Terror  51
    2. Home Matter: No House in the World, or Reading Transnational, Black Queer Domesticity in St. Paul-de-Vence  85
    3. Life Material: Haunted Houses and Welcome Tables, or The First Teacher, the Last Play, and Affectations of Disidentification  145
    4. Building Metaphors: "Sitting in the Strangest House I Have Ever Known," or Black Heterotopias from Harlem to San Juan, to Paris, London, and Yonkers  213
    5. Black Matters of Value: Erasure, Overlay, Manipulation, or Archiving the Invisible House  295
    Notes  317
    Bibliography  351
  • "Zaborowska's readings into Baldwin's work are thoughtful and illuminating. An opinionated and passionate book on one of the 20th century's most important writers."


  • "Zaborowska's readings into Baldwin's work are thoughtful and illuminating. An opinionated and passionate book on one of the 20th century's most important writers."

  • “The thing that startles, the trick that steals the breath as one reads Me and My House, is Magdalena J. Zaborowska's unrelenting insistence that James Baldwin was an embodied, social, thriving, and multifaceted individual deeply enmeshed in a vibrantly complicated domesticity. Not only does Zaborowska break through hackneyed accounts of Baldwin's isolation but she also disrupts the clumsy boundaries that separate critic from reader and fiction from criticism, allowing us to understand the work of James Baldwin as not simply material to be studied but also a bright model for the production of our own social and cultural critique.” — Robert F. Reid-Pharr, author of, Archives of Flesh: African America, Spain, and Post-Humanist Critique

    “Magdalena J. Zaborowska is one of the foremost experts in the world on James Baldwin. Given her unparalleled access to an unusually substantial amount of source material and her deep knowledge of her subject, Me and My House offers rich new material and fresh ways of understanding Baldwin's relationship with writers, artists, and activists. Specialists and general readers alike will find this book engaging and enlightening.” — Michele Elam, editor of, The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).


    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    The last sixteen years of James Baldwin's life (1971–87) unfolded in a village in the South of France, in a sprawling house nicknamed “Chez Baldwin.” In Me and My House Magdalena J. Zaborowska employs Baldwin’s home space as a lens through which to expand his biography and explore the politics and poetics of blackness, queerness, and domesticity in his complex and underappreciated later works. Zaborowska shows how the themes of dwelling and black queer male sexuality in The Welcome Table, Just above My Head, and If Beale Street Could Talk directly stem from Chez Baldwin's influence on the writer. The house was partially torn down in 2014. Accessible, heavily illustrated, and drawing on interviews with Baldwin's friends and lovers, unpublished letters, and manuscripts, Me and My House offers new insights into Baldwin's life, writing, and relationships, making it essential reading for all students, scholars, and fans of Baldwin.

    About The Author(s)

    Magdalena J. Zaborowska is Professor of Afroamerican and American Studies and the John Rich Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, and the author and coeditor of several books, including James Baldwin's Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile, also published by Duke University Press, and How We Found America: Reading Gender through East European Immigrant Narratives.
Explore More

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.

Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu