Interestingly, Nobody Knows My Name is not an exceptionally unique book in James Baldwin's vast and impressive bibliography. It would be fair to assume that an author most famous for his novels would have written more novels than essays. That is not the case. In fact, he published over nine collections of essays (to go along with two plays and six novels). Nobody Knows My Name is one such collection of essays. It contains both new, revised, and previously published material. The collection includes such essays as "Alas, Poor Richard," "The Discovery of What it Means to Be an American," and "East River, Downtown: Postscript to a Letter from Harlem."
Upon release, Nobody Knows My Name received almost universally positive reviews. Irving Howe of The New York Times said that Nobody Knows is a "brilliant collection of new essays." Ultimately, Baldwin will be remembered for his novels (like If Beale Street Could Talk and Giovanni's Room). Still, Nobody Knows is another incredible entry in Baldwin's illustrious bibliography. It will definitely not remembered as a classic, but as a very good collection of essays.