Giovanni's Room Author:James Baldwin Novel by James Baldwin, published in 1956, about the conflict in the sexual identity of a young expatriate American in Paris. — After a single homosexual experience in adolescence, David represses his unacceptable impulses. In Paris, he meets Hella Lincoln. He is determined to live the life that he thinks is expected of a male in white, middle-cl... more »ass Western culture. He and Hella have an affair, and David proposes marriage. While Hella is in Spain considering his proposal, David has an affair lasting several months with Giovanni, an Italian bartender.« less
This is the most depressing book I've read this year. It's about a gay man's struggle to deny his sexuality. Published for the first time in 1956, it's a contemporary portrayal of attitudes toward homosexuality. Very powerful.