I don’t know if I will ever be able to manage a proper review for Baldwin’s “Another Country”. If “uncomfortable” could be used as a compliment, I would start my review exclaiming “What an uncomfortable book!”
“Giovanni’s Room”, my first book by Baldwin, had already introduced me to the complexity of his themes, and “Another Country” took this complexity to a whole new level. Color, sexual identity, fear, discrimination, violence that breeds even more violence, hatred, uncertainty, social pressure, guilt, infidelity and love in all its dimensions are among the themes presented to us by Baldwin. These themes are presented without judgment, leaving the role of assessment and drawing of conclusions to the readers. But are we ready for this role? Would we take wiser decisions than the characters of the book? Would we know better?
At the moment I only know that I’m in a constant need of Baldwin’s uncomfortable and uncertain world, of his ever so subtle straightforwardness, and of his courage to plunge into the most complex matters.