The Queerish Book Club February 2024: Giovanni's Room

The Queerish Book Club is a monthly book club that specialises in LGBTQ+ literature. It typically runs on the last/second to last Monday of the month at 7pm and takes place at The Queerish Bookshop.

Our February book is Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin and our meeting will take place on Monday 26th February at 7pm.

Below are the questions we will discuss at the club. Please note the questions contain spoilers.  

Giovanni's Room - Book Club Questions


1. Giovanni’s dire fate is revealed in the early pages of the novel. What feelings arose in you, knowing from the beginning how Giovanni’s story would end? Do you think that this knowledge impacted your perception of the plot as it unfolded? Why might Baldwin have chosen to structure the story in this way? 

2. Through David’s narrative, Giovanni’s Room reveals the ways that external views on love and relationships can become internalized, leading to shame and alienation. Where does the pressure to marry a woman and have children come from, and how does David resist or fall victim to this norm? Have you ever felt pressure to reach a milestone, regardless of whether it was something you truly desired? Share your own experience of confronting those expectations.

3. Sex is used by many of the characters as an avenue to avoid loneliness, find power, and escape lingering doubts about their sexuality. Do you think the novel portrays any healthy sexual or romantic relationships?

4. Describe David and Hella’s relationship. Why does he propose to Hella, and why, despite her critiques of marriage, does she agree?

5. Return to the novel’s closing scene. What is inside the envelope, and why does David tear it to pieces? Do you think it’s significant that some of the pieces returned to David? Ultimately, do you think he will ever be able to escape what has happened to Giovanni?

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