Giovanni's Room (Twentieth Century Classics)

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9780140184129: Giovanni's Room (Twentieth Century Classics)

First published in 1957, this book attempts to tackle the conflict between homosexual and heterosexual love. It tells of David, a young man awakening to his true homosexual nature, through a relationship with a barman named Giovanni, as he awaits his fiancee's arrival from Spain.

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From the Back Cover:

'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

About the Author:

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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