The first James Baldwin novel I read was Giovanni’s Room and I really enjoyed it. I marveled over his ability to write a novel with so many layered themes. I also was wondering why it had taken me so long to finally read one of his novels.
I notice that this is often the first novel that readers online seem to flock to by Baldwin and then they don’t pick anything else up by him and if they do they’ll read The Fire Next Time but not any of his other novels. So my recommendation today is Another Country. This is hands down my favorite Baldwin novel so far. It is a must read. However, I haven’t got to Just Above My Head yet, but it’s on my 2020 TBR list.
Another Country is a story that is beautifully written and full of complexity. It’s starts innocently but slowly the story confronts the reader with the difficulties for blacks and whites to coexist. The themes of white liberalism and sexual freedom are both prevalent subjects as well today. Another Country will make readers contemplate current and past US race relations. You’ll definitely want to speak to someone about it once you’re done. It would be great for a book club discussion. I recommend Another Country to readers who enjoy Baldwin’s writing, like reading books with heavy themes on race relations in the US, and enjoy reading books set in 1950s New York. Check out my review video below.
“Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country is a novel of passions–sexual, racial, political, artistic–that is stunning for its emotional intensity and haunting sensuality, depicting men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their masks of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublime. In a small set of friends, Baldwin imbues the best and worst intentions of liberal America in the early 1970s.” (Another Country, back cover)
Another Country – James Baldwin
Publisher: Penguin Classics
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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