Of Solids and Surds

Samuel R. Delany


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Yale University Press
9 November 2021
ISBN: 9780300250404
168 pages

From the publisher

In the fourth volume in the Why I Write series, the iconic Samuel Delany remembers fifty years of writing and shaping the world of speculative fiction

"Delany's prismatic output is among the most significant, immense and innovative in American letters."-Jordy Rosenberg, New York Times

"He dispenses wisdom about craft-including the demanding revision process his dyslexia requires-but most moving are the moments when he sheds light on connections he has made with other readers and writers. . . . Delany's fans are in for a treat."-Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Language is the way humans deal with past, present, and future possibilities, as well as the subset called the probable. This is where Samuel Delany finds his justification for the writing life.

Since the 1960s, occurrences such as Sputnik, school desegregation, and the advent of AIDS have given Delany, as a gay man, as a black man, access to certain truths and facts he could write about, and the language-sometimes fiction, sometimes nonfiction-in which to present them. "We write," Delany believes, "at the intersection of your experience and mine in a way, I hope, that allows recognition."