As is the case with many of Baldwin's more than twenty works of fiction and non-fiction, the perceived need to escape from a threatening and oppressive environment is a central concern in this tale of an aspiring jazz pianist growing up on the "vivid killing streets" of Harlem in the late 1950s. Narrated by his unnamed older brother through the use of multiple and extended flashbacks, the story chronicles Sonny's life from his return to New York after a stint in the Navy to his fall into addiction, his arrest for peddling heroin, and his appearance on the stage of a downtown nightclub....
(The entire page is 369 words.)
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