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Giovanni's Room

By James Baldwin
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

From one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the past century comes a groundbreaking novel set among the bohemian bars and nightclubs of 1950s Paris, about love and the fear of love—“a book that belongs in the top rank of fiction” (The Atlantic).

One of The Atlantic’s Great American Novels of the Past 100 Years

In the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. 

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.

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 a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a deeply moving story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

2038 Reviews

4.0
Loudly Crying Face
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenRealistic settingHeartbreaking
Diverse characters
Loudly Crying Face“Baldwin’s writing is just *chefs kiss*. Utterly heartbreaking”
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingEasy to readAddictiveHeartbreakingRomantic
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenHeartbreakingBigotryHomophobiaMisogynySexual assaultTransphobiaViolence
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenAddictiveImmersive settingRealistic settingHeartbreakingThought-provoking

About James Baldwin

JAMES BALDWIN (1924–1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Baldwin spent much of his life in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.

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