Another Country Summary

Another Country is a novel by James Baldwin about a group of characters living in New York City.

  • Rufus Scott, a Black jazz musician, drives his white girlfriend, Leona, to a mental health crisis and afterward jumps off the George Washington Bridge to his death.
  • Rufus’s best friend, Vivaldo, a white writer, falls in love with Rufus’s younger sister, Ida, an aspiring singer, and the two begin a fraught relationship.
  • Eric, who has been living in France with his lover, Yves, returns to New York and sleeps with both Vivaldo and Cass, a married woman, before Yves joins him.


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Last Updated on February 18, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 165

Another Country, by James Baldwin, centers around a young man name Rufus Scott, a Black musician living in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. Rufus Scott is wandering the streets and hard on his luck when he meets a white woman named Leona. They fall in love and live together, but Rufus is angry at the world and at the people around him, who he believes condemn their interracial relationship.

Rufus becomes anxious and out of sorts about his relationship with a white woman, despite the fact that he is surrounded by friends who are laid back, liberal, and accepting. In his anger and fear, he begins to mistreat Leona, who becomes mentally unstable. Leona is sent to a psychiatric hospital and then taken away from New York by her brother. Rufus loses his job and becomes a drunkard, grieving from the loss. He turns to his writer friend Vivaldo for help, but Rufus sinks into lonely despair and kills himself by jumping off a bridge.

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