Giovanni's Room (James Baldwin)

  "Sometimes, when he was not near me, I thought, I will never let him touch me again. Then, when he touched me, I thought, it doesn't matter, it is only the body, it will soon be over."

"Sometimes, when he was not near me, I thought, I will never let him touch me again. Then, when he touched me, I thought, it doesn't matter, it is only the body, it will soon be over."

U.S.A. / 1956

I read this tale about a scandalous same-sex love affair in Paris in just a few sittings. It is utterly gripping and draws you into a world of intimacy, tension, and passion like no other. What I love most about this novel is Baldwin's ability to render the subtle nuances of social interaction — whether they be intimate, platonic, etc. He puts into words those casual glances, secret thoughts, shifts in tone, slight sighs and body language that color our real-life encounters with others. I felt so close to the protagonists, Giovanni and David. I felt as if I was looking at their relationship through a magnifying glass. Read my full review of Giovanni's Room here.