Giovanni's Room [SECOND PRINTING]
New York: The Dial Press, 1957.
Second Printing, January 1957. Hardcover. Offered here is a second printing of the great James Baldwin's second published novel. Set in the bohemian bars and gay nightclubs of 1950s Paris, Giovanni's Room is the story of an American man caught between conventional morality and desire, between Hella, the woman he intends to marry and Giovanni, an Italian bartender he meets while she's away. The now classic queer novel was rejected by Knopf, the American publisher of his first book, Go Tell It on the Mountain, who suggested that Baldwin "burn" Giovanni's Room, warning him that the homosexual themes would alienate his Black readers, saying: "This new book will ruin your career, because you’re not writing about the same things and in the same manner as you were before, and we won’t publish this book as a favor to you." Thankfully, the Dial Press agreed to publish Giovanni's Room in 1956. This second printing of the novel was published just a year later in January of 1957. A must on any list of classic LGBTQ novels, Giovanni's Room was selected number 1 on The Advocate's list of "The Best Classic LGBTQ+ Novels" in 2018. Of the book's homosexual and bisexual themes, in a 1980 interview Baldwin said: “Giovanni’s Room is not really about homosexuality...It’s the vehicle through which the book moves. Go Tell It on the Mountain, for example, is not about a church, and Giovanni is not really about homosexuality. It’s about what happens to you if you’re afraid to love anybody.” This is a presentable second printing of James Baldwin's iconic second novel and an essential work of queer literature.
8 1/4" X 5 1/2". 248pp. Stated second printing, with original price of $3.00 to front flap. Presents nicely in protective archival sleeved dust jacket. Moderate wear to dust jacket designed by Seymour Chwast of Push Pin Studios, with small open tears to corners, small neat tears to edges, and chipping to head and tail of spine. Bound in stippled pale green paper over boards, with spine backed in black cloth and lettered in silver. Mild wear to binding, with some rubbing to extremities, particularly at tail of spine, and light dust soiling to bottom edges. Slight lean to spine. Hinges are a touch tender; binding remains quite firm and sound. Pages are gently age-toned, else clean and unmarked. A handsome second printing in admittedly worn but still quite presentable dust jacket of James Baldwin's second novel. Very good / good. Item #11167