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Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

In October I joined a book club. Something I have wanted to do for ages, but have been too lazy to do. Actually I am too lazy to do a lot of the things I mean to do. The October book was something I knew I would dislike and did not read., The November book I read but hated and did not go to the book club. In December the book club was canceled due to holidays.

Finally January comes, I like the book am looking forward to going and I get called in to the dentist to get two implants. Okay I know your dying to know the name of the book, ( if you haven’t looked at the title,) Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. I had read the book years ago and only remember it being a difficult read. James Baldwin wrote the novel in 1956, (the year I was born, coincidentally.)

The book centers around David an American living in Paris. David is gay but unable to accept his homosexuality. In Paris he finds a woman he thinks he could love, marry and return to America with. When she leaves for a few months in Spain he meets Giovanni and his life begins to unravel as does Giovanni’s.

Despite the book being written about 70 years ago I imagine most gay men can identify with David and his overwhelming desire to be straight. James Baldwin packed so much into the novel that at times I found it difficult read. It was sad intriguing, deeply profound. Baldwin had so much to say and did it beautifully.

James Baldwin - Giovanni's Room


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