book cover of 1984
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Publisher's Weekly
Many of Delany's novels (The Madman; Dhalgren) are colloquial, even conversational in tone and plot, packed tight with observations, alternate soliloquies and riffs. It's what makes them unique, as well as great literature. With the same grand sweep of scope, language and intelligence that has distinguished his novels, this collection of 56 letters, written primarily in 1984, details the author's interests, work, passions, obsessions and everyday life during George Orwell's apocalyptic year. With reflections on a wide range of topics--from the Wagner Ring cycle, the politics of book club publishing and the history of the novel to sadomasochism and AIDS--Delany's correspondence has an almost 18th-century feel. Of course, he also uses it to communicate personal information, frequently quoting poems, other people's letters and essays, and his own journals. He details his work and private life in full: one letter recommends the daughter of close friends for private school; a long, grueling, section in another letter details his problems with the IRS; another reflects on painful discussions of difficulties in a close friendship; others offer explicit descriptions of his sexual activity, both at home and in public places. A wonderful complement to his autobiographical writings (Heavenly Breakfast; The Motion of Light in Water), these letters are as much literature as any of Delany's fiction. As ever, his intelligence, kindness, empathy, critical skills and intense interest in writing, art and the world around him shine through. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Library Journal
This selection of letters (most composed in 1984) have to be read to be believed. Delany-black, gay, a father, and author of Times Square Red, Times Square Blue and of sf, pornography, and social, political, and literary criticism-chronicles his view of the cultural and the countercultural scene of the early 1980s, including the beginning of AIDS outbreak and the various public and private responses to the disease. The letters-mostly to friends-detail (often exhaustively) Delany's observations on a wide variety of subjects: his daughter, hustling, sexual fantasy, a serial street murderer, money and IRS problems, analytical and philosophical discourses on many things academic, a nail-biting fetish, porn theater cruising, and his writing. In one passage, Delany makes the point that he does not offend very easily; what is said with care should be taken with care. Reading these letters, one senses that that is true. However, the sexually righteous may feel otherwise; several passages will offend some readers, regardless of the evident care Delany has given their construction. Recommended only for large public libraries.-Robert L. Kelly, Fort Wayne, IN

Used availability for Samuel R Delany's 1984

Paperback Editions

May 2000 : USA Paperback

Title: 1984: Selected Letters
Author(s): Samuel R Delany
ISBN: 0-9665998-1-0 / 978-0-9665998-1-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Voyant Pub
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