Giovanni's Room

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Oct 4, 2001 - Fiction - 176 pages
David is a young American expatriate who has just proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Hella. While she is away on a trip, David meets a bartender named Giovanni to whom he is drawn in spite of himself. Soon the two are spending the night in Giovanni's curtainless room, which he keeps dark to protect their privacy. But Hella's return to Paris brings the affair to a crisis, one that rapidly spirals into tragedy. Caught between his repressed desires and conventional morality, David struggles for self-knowledge during one long, dark night-"the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life." With sharp, probing insight, Giovanni's Room tells an impassioned, deeply moving story that lays bare the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

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User Review  - Paul-the-well-read - LibraryThing

This book is incredibly moving. Written decades ago when feelings and attitudes about homosexuality were different than they are today (at least, from appearances), this book shows the trauma and ... Read full review

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User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

This is one of those books that I probably would never have read if it hadn't been on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list and that would have been a shame. I thought the writing was beautiful ... 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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