June 28, 2023
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Join in the Smart Museum of Art’s virtual book club!
The Smart Reads series continues in June with James Baldwin’s now-classic narrative, Giovanni’s Room. We invite you to read along with us and engage in a thought-provoking conversation with host Dorian H. Nash.
FREE. To help build a community of participants, capacity is limited and advanced registration is required.
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
In the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. David is a young American expatriate who has just proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Hella. While she is away on a trip, David meets a bartender named Giovanni to whom he is drawn in spite of himself. Soon the two are spending the night in Giovanni’s curtainless room, which he keeps dark to protect their privacy. But Hella’s return to Paris brings the affair to a crisis, one that rapidly spirals into tragedy. David struggles for self-knowledge during one long, dark night—“the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life.” With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a deeply moving story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
January 25, 6–7:30 pm
The Theater and its Double by Antonin Artaud
February 22, 6–7:30 pm
Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis
March 29, 6–7:30 pm
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
April 26, 6–7:30 pm
Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo
May 31, 6–7:30 pm
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
June 28, 6–7:30 pm
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
July 26, 6–7:30 pm
The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto
August 23, 6–7:30 pm
We Do This 'Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba
September 27, 6–7:30 pm
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
October 25, 6–7:30 pm
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
November 29, 6–7:30 pm
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
December 6, 6–7:30 pm
Year in books recap and reflection