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The Motion of Light in Water

Sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village

2004
Author:

Samuel R. Delany

The Motion of Light in Water

The unexpurgated edition of the award-winning autobiography

In this unexpurgated edition of his award-winning autobiography, Samuel R. Delany beautifully, vividly,and insightfully calls up the 1960s era of exploration and adventure in the Lower East Side of New York City. He details his development as a black gay writer in an open marriage, with tertiary walk-ons by Bob Dylan, Stokely Carmichael, W. H. Auden, and James Baldwin.

A very moving, intensely fascinating literary biography from an extraordinary writer. Thoroughly admirable candor and luminous stylistic precision; the artist as a young man and a memorable picture of an age.

William Gibson

Born in New York City’s black ghetto Harlem at the start of World War II, Samuel R. Delany married white poet Marilyn Hacker right out of high school. The interracial couple moved into the city’s new bohemian quarter, the Lower East Side, in summer 1961. Through the decade’s opening years, new art, new sexual practices, new music, and new political awareness burgeoned among the crowded streets and cheap railroad apartments. Beautifully, vividly, insightfully, Delany calls up this era of exploration and adventure as he details his development as a black gay writer in an open marriage, with tertiary walk-ons by Bob Dylan, Stokely Carmichael, W. H. Auden, and James Baldwin, and a panoply of brilliantly drawn secondary characters.

Awards

Winner of the Hugo Award for Non-fiction

The Motion of Light in Water

Samuel R. Delany is the author of numerous science fiction books including, Dhalgren and The Mad Man, as well as the best-selling nonfiction study Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. He lives in New York City and teaches at Temple University. The Lambda Book Report chose Delany as one of the fifty most significant men and women of the past hundred years to change our concept of gayness, and he is a recipient of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime’s contribution to lesbian and gay literature.

The Motion of Light in Water

The Motion of Light in Water captures, as if in a time capsule, what it was like to be a young, gifted person of color coming to adulthood from roughly 1956 to 1966. Delany’s experiences show us that the ‘past’ is never as simple or as safe as some would like to believe.

American Literary History

A very moving, intensely fascinating literary biography from an extraordinary writer. Thoroughly admirable candor and luminous stylistic precision; the artist as a young man and a memorable picture of an age.

William Gibson

Absolutely central to any consideration of black manhood. Delany’s vision of the necessity for total social and political transformation is revolutionary.

Hazel Carby

The prose of The Motion of Light in Water often has the shimmering beauty of the title itself. This book is invaluable gay history.

Inches Magazine

The Motion of Light in Water

Contents

Sentences: An Introduction

The Peripheries of Love

Notes