Dark Reflections by Samuel R. Delany
Trade Paperback – Dover – Dec 2019 – 214 pages
This Stonewall Book Award-winning novel traces the life and unrealized dreams of Arnold Hawley, a gay African American poet. The tale unfolds in three non-chronological parts, starting in the twenty-first century with Hawley’s lonely old age and the failure of his latest volume of poetry. The narrative then retreats to the 1970s to recount Hawley’s impulsive marriage to a homeless woman. A final section revisits the poet’s student days, during which an aborted sexual encounter sets the pattern for a lifetime of regrets and missed opportunities. A meditation on isolation and sexual repression, Dark Reflections also offers an acerbic look at the literary world and the frustrations intrinsic to artistic life.