Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
-If Van Gogh was our 19th-century artist-saint, James Baldwin is our 20th-century one.- --Michael Ondaatje-A young American involved with both a woman and a man. . . . Baldwin writes of these matters with unusual candor and yet with such dignity and intensity.- --The New York Times -Absorbing . . . [with] immediate emotional impact.- --The Washington Post -Mr. Baldwin has taken a very special theme and treated it with great artistry and restraint.- --Saturday Review -Exciting . . . a book that belongs in the top rank of fiction.- --The Atlantic -Violent, excruciating beauty.- --San Francisco Chronicle -To be James Baldwin is to touch on so many hidden places in Europe, America, the Negro, the white man --to be forced to understand so much.- --Alfred Kazin -This author retains a place in an extremely select group; that composed of the few genuinely indispensable American writers.- --Saturday Review -He has not himself lost access to the sources of his being --which is what makes him read and awaited by perhaps a wider range of people than any other major American writer.- --The Nation -He is thought-provoking, tantalizing, irritating, abusing and amusing. And he uses words as the sea uses waves, to flow and beat, advance and retreat, rise and take a bow in disappearing . . . the thought becomes poetry and the poetry illuminates thought.- --Langston Hughes -He has become one of the few writers of our time.- --Norman Mailer