Another Country (James Baldwin)

  "If you don't forgive yourself you'll never be able to forgive anybody else and you'll go on committing the same crimes forever."

"If you don't forgive yourself you'll never be able to forgive anybody else and you'll go on committing the same crimes forever."

U.S.A. / 1962

This novel about the affairs and chaos between a group of New Yorkers is a rollercoaster ride. It's nice to see Baldwin's depiction of NYC in the late 50s - early 60s. The city has changed so much since then. Apparently you could get a room in the YMCA for less than $5 a night! And the West Village was affordable. But overall, I found Another Country to be a bit overdone, over-detailed, and just unnecessarily long. Around the half way mark, I found myself just wanting it to be over. I can understand how this novel is important—with its discussion of the then (1960s) super-taboo topics of affairs, and interracial and bisexual couples. And I appreciated how each character was unique. But the lengthy descriptions of every single moment just turned me off. It worked in Baldwin's shorter novels, Giovanni's Room and Go Tell it On the Mountain, but when stretched out into 436 pages, it just felt like too much. I'm still glad I read this book. So I still recommend it. All I'll say is you should be very patient.