Nicholas Boggs was an undergraduate at Yale when he discovered James Baldwin’s out-of-print book, Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood (1976) in the university’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This “children’s book for adults” would become the subject of Bogg’s senior thesis, subsequent publications, and ultimately shape his writing career.
On a quest to republish the book, he traveled to France to find and interview the book’s elusive illustrator, French artist Yoran Cazac, about the collaboration. He saw the original crayon illustrations and early drafts of the book and visited the house where it was written. Now, for the first time in 40 years, LITTLE MAN, LITTLE MAN: A Story of Childhood, is available again. “It could scarcely be more timely.” (New York Times). The new edition is co-edited and introduced by Boggs, and includes a foreword by Tejan “TJ” Karefa-Smart, Baldwin’s nephew and the inspiration for the book.
Boggs is a professor of English at New York University. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University and a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University. He is the recipient of Yaddo, MacDowell, and Camargo Foundation Fellowships, and is the spring 2020 writer-in-residence at the James Merrill House. He is currently writing, JAMES BALDWIN: In the Full Light – a literary biography forthcoming from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Speaking topics include the life, work and legacy of James Baldwin; Resurrecting Baldwin’s Little Man; Twentieth and twenty-first century American and African American literature; and creative writing in hybrid genres.