Samuel R. Delany
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In Dhalgren, perhaps one of the most profound and bestselling science fiction novels of all time, Samuel R. Delany has produced a novel "to stand with the best American fiction of the 1970s" (Jonathan Lethem).
Bellona is a city at the dead center of the United States. Something has happened there…. The population has fled. Madmen and criminals wander the streets. Strange portents appear in the cloud-covered sky. And into this disaster zone comes a young man–poet, lover, and adventurer–known only as the Kid. Tackling questions of race, gender, and sexuality, Dhalgren is a literary marvel and groundbreaking work of American magical realism.
slowly, "Shit," which could have meant a lot of things. He wedged between them- "Get out of the-" saw the orchid-"fucking way, huh?" and lugged the carton of canned goods off the table edge against his belly, where ripe, wrinkled jeans had sagged so low you could see stomach hair thicken toward pubic. He looked down over his thick arm at the weapon, closed his mouth, shook his head. "Shit," again, and: "What the fuck you staring at?" Between the flaps of Nightmare's cut-down vest, prisms,
am, Kid thought inanely, taller and stockier.) He reversed his hand, to look at his own palm: the yellowed callous was lined and lined again, deep enough for scars. Between his fingers he saw the backs of fingers with only the slightest hair, only the 376 faintest scar above the middle knuckle and a darkening at the left of the first joint. The reflection's nails, though without moons save the thumbs, were long as his adolescent dreams, and only slightly dirty. He glanced down at the other hand.
imagine at a place like Roger's. And they are beginning to bore me." He sighed. "I suppose such things have driven me from one city to another all my life. No, I can't say Bellona was misrepresented. But even for me, at my age, not all of its lessons have been kind." "Jesus," Kid said. "What's been happening at-" "There are, if I can oversimplify," Newboy went on (Kid took a long breath and picked up his coffee), "two concepts of the artist. The one gives all to his work, in a very real way; if
flooded leather, took a hissing breath, and gazed around. Left, the road sloped up between the trees. He started right. Downward would take him toward the city. On one side was forest. On the other, he realized after a dozen slippery jogs, it was only a hedge of trees. Trees dropped away with another dozen. Behind, the grass whispered and shushed him. She was standing at the meadow's center. He brought his feet-one strapped and muddy, one bare and dusty-together; suddenly felt his heart beating;
psychologist! Social service was never really my forte. I don't know if the patients who got out were finally evacuated or not. I assume they were; but I can't be sure." She gave a little humph. "Perhaps that has something to do with why I don't leave myself." "I don't think so," Kidd said, after a moment "It sounds like you-and your friend-were very brave." Madame Brown humphed again. "It's just-" he felt uncomfortable, but it was a different discomfort than at the table-"you made it sound,