James Baldwin’s “Giovanni’s Room” is truly a magnificent novel, a book 30 years before its time. It is both a psychological and sociological drama, set in Paris, France with a lingering commentary on American morals running throughout the book. It was published in 1956 and it is definitely one of the first novels that addresses homosexuality in a mature and intelligent manner. The characters are portrayed so honestly that the reader, despite one’s sexual orientation, is able to identify with the confusion the characters feel over their sexuality, the bigotry they encounter when they venture outside their communities and the loneliness and isolation they suffer as they come to grips with their uniqueness.
Mr. Baldwin’s novel is bold and powerful, superbly written, and I strongly recommend this amazing piece of literature.