Giovanni's Room

by James Baldwin

Part of the Penguin Great Loves Series

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Sharing Diverse Voices

LoveReading Expert Review of Giovanni's Room

A classic of gay literature

First published in 1956 and recounting a tormented love affair in Paris between the American narrator, David, and Giovanni, an Italian bartender, this is a classic of gay literature. Unable to repress their impulses, they are tortured by their sexual identity and it's just such a raw, heart-breaking read because of it. Beautifully written by Baldwin, the sense of shame and despair eeks out of every page and whilst it's a harrowing read at times, it's an important read and ultimately a hopeful one. Highly recommended.

Included in our '35 LGBTQ books to read this Pride Month and every month' Collection.


Giovanni's Room Synopsis

When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend's return to Paris destroys everything. Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened - while Giovanni's life descends into tragedy.

United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love...

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780141032948
Publication date: 2nd August 2007
Author: James Baldwin
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 160 pages
Collections: 35 LGBTQIA+ books to read this Pride Month and every month,
Primary Genre Literary Fiction
Other Genres:
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What To Read After Giovanni's Room

Men Don't Cry
The House in Paris
little scratch
She Came to Stay

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780141032948
Publication date: 02/08/2007
Format: Paperback

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About James Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, playwright, and activist. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son, explore intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century North America.

More About James Baldwin

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