Giovannis' room by James Baldwin
Penguin Classics, 1956
Soft cover, 157 pages
Baldwin's ground-breaking second novel, which established him as one of the great American writers of his time
David, a young American in 1950s Paris, is waiting for his fiancee 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 fiancee 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.