Another Country tells the stories of artists, mainly in New York, struggling to love and be loved amid the complexities of racism, sexism, and homophobia. James Baldwin divided the novel into three parts.
“Book One: Easy Rider” begins by narrating the last day of Rufus Scott’s life in a November in the late 1950’s, with digressions that show how he has come to the point of suicide. Then it shows his white friends responding to his death. This book ends the following March, when Vivaldo Moore begins an affair with Ida Scott.
“Book Two: Any Day Now” opens with Eric Jones and Yves in southern France, and then follows Eric to New York in early summer, where he renews old friendships. During the summer, Cass and Richard Silenski’s marriage comes apart, Cass begins an affair with Eric, and Vivaldo and Ida’s relationship unravels. This book ends with Cass’s confession to Richard, which brings an end to her affair; though very painful for both of them, the episode seems to hold the promise of a renewal of their marriage.
“Book Three: Toward Bethlehem” opens with Vivaldo and Eric making love. This event brings the love between these two men into the open and releases them into new understandings of themselves and of the nature of love. Vivaldo confirms that he is not homosexual, but also that he need not be afraid of loving a male friend and expressing this love physically. It was just such a fear that he believes prevented him from comforting Rufus at...
(The entire section is 617 words.)