James Baldwin’s “Another Country” is a story about African-Americans searching for a country of their own. Even though this can be taken literally, the larger meaning reflects African-Americans’ inner struggles against racism, nationalism, and sexism. The novel explores lives of a strange social circle: a group of white and black artists. The life of a drummer, Rufus Scott, is short yet complicated, eventually ending in a suicide.

Struggling against his inner racial prejudice and seeing himself as a victim, Rufus abuses his Caucasian girlfriend Leona both physically and emotionally, which even...