Transatlantic Commuter

At Home and Abroad

Because he returned frequently to the United States to work, visit family, and engage in activism, Baldwin referred to himself as a “transatlantic commuter.”
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Transatlantic Commuter

Escape From America

Constrained by racial violence, homophobia, and financial difficulties, Baldwin sought physical and psychological distance abroad to pursue his craft.
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Transatlantic Commuter

Lessons on Life and Literature

Living abroad helped to shape Baldwin’s personal identity and spawn his literary output.
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Transatlantic Commuter

Baldwin in France

France became Baldwin’s second home, where he experienced both acceptance and rejection, racial equality and racism, and joy and suffering. In France he developed himself as an internationally-renowned writer and public intellectual.
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Transatlantic Commuter

Baldwin in Turkey

Baldwin’s Turkish decade—the 1960s—provided a reprieve from America’s homophobia and racism during the height of the Civil Rights struggles.
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Transatlantic Commuter

Baldwin in Switzerland

Although Baldwin managed to finish Go Tell It On The Mountain in Switzerland, he was a stranger and an oddity in the remote village of Löeche-les-Bains, where the villagers had never seen a person of African descent.
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