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My favorite Baldwin and one of the only New York novels that so well captures the simultaneous muchness of The City through vibrant, compelling characters. They live uptown and downtown and in every borough. They are out late until it's early and then they are out early. They hustle and halt and fail and fuck it all. They surprise themselves and the reader, are tender, are angry, are knit together through the end and so on and on. These characters will never leave you.
Published in 1962, this is an emotionally intense novel of love, hatred, race, and America in the 1950s. Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem, and France, among other locales, Another Country tells the story of the suicide of jazz musician Rufus Scott and the friends who search for an understanding of his life and death, discovering uncomfortable truths about themselves along the way. It 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 1950s.