3d Wednesdays, 6pm
Giovanni's Room is the classic 1956 novel by James Baldwin. The book focuses on the events in the life of an American man living in Paris and his feelings and frustrations with his relationships with other men in his life, particularly an Italian bartender named Giovanni whom he meets at a Parisian gay bar. The novel explores the internal struggle of facing one's sexuality despite imposed hyper-masculinity, alongside navigating the public sphere and illustrating the challenges and blessing of accessible queer spaces. The novel is noteworthy for bringing complex representations of homosexuality and bisexuality to a reading public with empathy and artistry, thereby fostering a broader public discourse of issues regarding same-sex desire. When asked if the book was autobiographical in an interview in 1980, Baldwin explains he was influenced by his observations in Paris, but the novel wasn't necessarily shaped by his own experiences: "No, it is more of a study of how it might have been or how I feel it might have been. I mean, for example, some of the people I have met. We all met in a bar, there was a blond French guy sitting at a table, he bought us drinks. And, two or three days later, I saw his face in the headlines of a Paris paper. He had been arrested and was later guillotined. That stuck in my mind. ”
Join our book club for commitment-phobes. Each month there’s a new genre with many titles, available for free. Come every time or drop in when a selection intrigues you. All are LGBTQ-related & readers will be invited to discuss them in person & online beforehand.