Giovanni's Room is the second novel published by James Baldwin who was an African American writer, thinker, and civil rights activist. Published in 1956, it is one of the early frank depictions of a love relationship between two men. Like Baldwin himself, the protagonist of Giovanni's Room, David, is an American ex-pat living in Paris who meets and falls in love with an Italian man. The book has had incredible staying power and is considered a queer classic. The African American literary critic, Hinton Als recently published a re-appraisal of the work in the New York Times, discussing Baldwin's choice to write this story about two white men and about his use of a "metaphor, the distance of whiteness".