Giovanni's Room

James Baldwin, Caryl Phillips (Introducer)

'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

  • Penguin Classics
  • Published 4th October 2001
  • 176 Pages
  • 129mm x 198mm x 10mm
  • 134g
  • £8.99