Giovanni's Room

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Oct 4, 2001 - Fiction - 176 pages
28 Reviews

'Exquisite, a feat of fire-breathing, imaginative daring' Guardian

David, a young American in 1950s Paris, is waiting for his fiancée to return from vacation in Spain. But when he meets Giovanni, a handsome Italian barman, the two men are drawn into an intense affair. After three months David's fiancée returns and, denying his true nature, he rejects Giovanni for a 'safe' future as a married man. His decision eventually brings tragedy.

Filled with passion, regret and longing, this story of a fated love triangle has become a landmark of gay writing. James Baldwin caused outrage as a black author writing about white homosexuals, yet for him the issues of race, sexuality and personal freedom were eternally intertwined.

'If Van Gogh was our 19th-century artist-saint, James Baldwin is our 20th-century one' Michael Ondaatje

'Baldwin writes of these matters with unusual candour and yet with such dignity and intensity' The New York Times

'Violent, excruciating beauty' San Francisco Chronicle

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SqueakyChu - LibraryThing

I guess there's a reason that James Baldwin is such a noted author. This book was amazing. It kept me up at night to finish it. The writing was simply captivating. It was deeply bleak and melancholy ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LilyCowper - LibraryThing

Really beautiful. JB feels the things I feel. My brain always pulls a face from my past and glues it to strong characters in my books, and this time it was Giovanni who was someone I knew from my life ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Born in Harlem in 1924, Baldwin had an early career as a teenage preacher. He lived in Paris from 1948-1956 and his first novels, the autobiographical GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN and GIOVANNI'S ROOM established him as a promising novelist and anticipated some of the themes of his later works, such as racism and sexuality. He became a prominent spokesperson for racial equality, especially during the civil rights movement. He lived in France during his last years. Baldwin died in 1987.

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