Samuel Delany

Silent Interviews

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Collected interviews featuring the Nebula Award–winning author and his thoughts on topics like literary criticism, comic books, race, and sexuality.
For nearly three decades, Samuel R. Delany’s science fiction has transported millions of readers to the fringes of time, technology, and outer space. Now Delany surveys the realms of his own experience as a writer, critic, theorist, and gay Black man in this collection of written interviews, a type of guided essay.
Because the written interview avoids the “mutual presence positioned at the semantic core” of traditional interview, Delany explains, “a kind of cut remains between the participants—a fissure in which the truths there may be more malleable, less rigid.” Within that fissure Delany pursues the breadth and depth of his ideas on language and theory, the politics of literary composition, the experience of marginality, and the philosophical, commercial, and personal contexts of writing today.
Gathered from sources as diverse as Diacritics and The Comics Journal, these interviews reveal the broad range of Delany’s thought and interests.
“Delany has a unique place in late twentieth century letters. A lifelong inhabitant of the margins, both social and literary, he has used his marginalized status as a lens to focus his astute observations of American literature and society. From these interviews his voice emerges, provocative, precise, and engaging.” —Kathleen Spencer, University of Nebraska
“Samuel R. Delany never shies away from contestable positions or provocative opinions. In his fiction, Delany can write like quicksilver, and in lectures or panel discussions, he is easily SF’s most articulate spokesperson in academia. . . . There is much here that is not covered in Delany’s critical or autobiographical writings, and much that anyone seriously interested in SF—or many of Delany’s other favorite topics—ought to consider.” —Locus
“Delany is fascinating whether discussing SF, comics, or his experiences as a Black American, and this collection . . . is as entertaining as it is informative.” —Science Fiction Chronicle
“Yevgeny Zamyatin? Stanislaw Lem? Forget it! Delany is both, with a lot of Borges and Bruno Schultz thrown in.” —Village Voice
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